Scotland celebrates its woodlands as part of the International Year of Forests

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Government agencies to individuals with a passion for trees are joining together in a year long celebration of Scotland’s trees, forests and woodlands.

The United Nations has declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests, to help raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

Forests, trees and woodlands provide Scotland with a wide range of benefits such as providing a home for rare biodiversity, creating jobs in rural areas, and recreation and tourism opportunities. Forestry Commission Scotland is leading on Scotland’s response to the year. 

Environment and Climate Change Minister, Roseanna Cunningham, said:

“This year we aim to highlight the importance of forests in everyday life, and celebrate everything that is great about our woodlands and forest products throughout Scotland.

“However, it is ironic that in the very year that we are celebrating forests, controversial moves by the Westminster Government to sell off their national forests are being proposed. 

“The public backlash being directed at Westminster grows and grows and I hope this will refocus minds. In Scotland our national forests are protected by the Scottish Government and there will be no such sell-offs as in England. 

“Scotland’s forests are vital to the country and contribute £670m to our economy, they have a key role in fighting climate change and in supporting sustainable development.  With more than half of Scotland’s population living within two miles of a woodland, woods are also playing an increasing role in opening up access and urban regeneration.

“The Scottish Government views its forests as a national treasure and will celebrate them through the International Year of Forests campaign.”

A range of events, exhibitions, displays, guided walks and other celebrations are planned for the year. Highlights include fungi foraging, wildlife spotting, cooking rolls in an iron-age oven and timber events for architects and surveyors. For more information on what’s on or to become a partner in the year, check out or

The International Year of Forests partnership includes: Forestry Commission Scotland, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scottish Natural Heritage, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, Forest Research, Cairngorm National Park Authority and the Institute of Chartered Foresters. 

Media Enquiries to:

Claire Martin, Forestry Commission Scotland, tel: 0131 314 6506 or

James McDougall, Forestry Commission Scotland, tel: 0131 314 6372 or

Notes to news editors:

1) IYF Partners in Scotland include:

Forestry Commission Scotland:

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh:

Scottish Natural Heritage:

Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority:

Forest Research:

Cairngorm National Park Authority:

Institute of Chartered Foresters: