New public woodland for the Tweed Valley

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Forestry Commission Scotland today announced that it has purchased part of Nether Horsburgh farm as part of its ongoing repositioning programme.

This latest acquisition, which lies within the Tweed Valley adjacent to Glentress Forest is being earmarked for developing a 'model', exemplar forest for the 21 century with a wide range of species and habitats.

Establishing a new forest on the site will help to meet the Scottish Borders Woodland Strategy (2005) target of increasing woodland cover by 30,000ha by 2050.

It will also meet a number of additional objectives.

Bill Meadows for the Commission in Dumfries & Borders Forest District said:

“Our repositioning programme is all about maximising the public benefit of the national forest estate. We sell off land that is of poor public benefit and use the proceeds to fund the purchase of land that can deliver greater public benefit.

“Nether Horsburgh is strategically located to strengthen wildlife and recreation networks in the Tweed Valley.

“It’s ideally situated for two local communities – Innerleithen and Cardrona – and we’ll be encouraging local people to get involved and to enjoy the benefits of the new woodland. We are also looking to further develop our work with schools, and outward bound activities.”

Establishing a new forest on the site could also see the construction of a new forest road and access to serve the woodland, which would have the additional benefit of easing pressures on the current access serving the new Glentress Peel visitor centre, which is due to open in spring 2011.

Over the next few months the Commission will consult local stakeholder groups and others in order to help ensure we maximise the economic, social, environmental and other benefits from this new part of the National Forest Estate.

1. Forestry Commission Scotland protects, manages and expands Scotland’s 660,000ha of forests and woodlands in ways that benefit biodiversity, the economy, communities and the fight against climate change. Local woodlands act as a catalyst for communities to meet up, get involved with projects and volunteering, or simply enjoy the many opportunities for recreation and the peace and quiet that forests and woodlands can offer.

2. The National Forest Estate repositioning programme is a three year programme agreed with the Scottish Government.  It is focused on creating new woodlands that will offer significant economic, social and environmental benefits.  This is funded from sale of land that makes a lower contribution to Scottish Government’s priorities.

3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0131 314 6507.