Vital role of forestry research underlined in Minister’s visit to Northern Research Station

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Environment & Climate Change Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, today (Tuesday 30 October) visited Forest Research’s (FR) Northern Research Station at Roslin to get an in-depth understanding of how continued research in to tree pests and diseases is critical to the long-term vitality of modern forestry.

Forest Research, the research arm of the Forestry Commission, has staff based in Roslin, and elsewhere in Scotland – as well as in England and Wales - and provides a unique range of services, information and advice on issues such as tree health, forest carbon and greenhouse gas balance and the make-up of future forests.

The Forest Research team also contains expertise on social science, urban greening and ecosystem service market development – all of which benefit and improve the delivery of sustainable forest management.

Prior to his tour of the facility, Mr Wheelhouse said:

“Largely driven by international trade with the UK, particularly the trade in plants, Scottish forestry has been experiencing an unprecedented number of new tree pests and diseases. It has therefore never been clearer that Forest Research’s role is vital in building the resilience of Scotland’s diverse forests and woodlands which characterise our iconic landscapes and sustain our biodiversity.

“Their research, evidence and expertise are valued by the Scottish forestry sector and by the Scottish Government – and are invaluable in helping everyone in the forestry sector to enhance and maintain our superb woodland resource.

“Their work is also integral to the ongoing effort to make use of Scotland’s forests to deliver social, health and economic benefits to individuals, communities and to businesses in urban as well as rural areas.

“I look forward to getting a more in-depth understanding of the issues they grapple with – and the solutions they are developing.”

Forest Research is highly regarded across the international research community and plays an integral part in several Scottish Government research groups. (3)

Through its programme of partnership research with Scottish Universities (including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Napier, Aberdeen, Stirling and Dundee), FR is also helping to develop the next generation of scientists that will underpin Scotland's future research capacity.

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Notes to Editors
1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate.

2) Forest Research aims to provide research services relevant to UK and international forestry interests and inform and support forestry’s contribution to UK governmental policies. Its core roles are to provide the evidence base for UK forestry practices and to support innovation.

3) FR is a partner in the Scottish Government's Centre of Expertise on Climate Change, involved in CAMERAS and a member of the Scottish Rural Research Consortium (formerly ECRR)

4) Media enquiries to Paul Munro, FCS Press Office, 0131 314 6507