Planners get advice on preparing for woodland boost

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10 JUNE 2010NEWS RELEASE No: 13669

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New advice issued today will help planning authorities prepare for a significant increase in woodland cover across Scotland in the coming years.

The Scottish Government has a vision to boost woodland cover from 17 per cent to 25 per cent of Scotland’s land mass during the second half of this century. This dramatic rise in tree cover will need to be carefully integrated with other land uses, including new development.

Woodlands not only help produce more attractive landscapes and places for people to enjoy, they also play an important role in regenerating areas and bringing in new business. 

Announcing the new advice note from Forestry Commission Scotland, Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said:

“We are going to see a significant increase in woodland cover in the future  and it is important that it is well managed and well planned.

“We must also recognise that there are many other competing demands on how we use Scotland’s land and for what purpose. 

“The Scottish Government is currently formulating a Land Use Strategy which will ensure a strategic and balanced approach to this issue, taking into account the need to increase woodland cover. If we get this balance right, we will all benefit from the many economic, social and environmental benefits that an increase in woodlands can offer.

“This advice note from the Commission gives practical advice to encourage  Scotland’s planning authorities to work with stakeholders to prepare new forestry and woodland strategies which are fully integrated into the modernised planning system.”

The guidance is aimed specifically for planners and covers:

• current government policies and drivers for boosting forestry and woodlands;
• the best approach for planning authorities on developing new local forestry and woodland strategies;
• detailed advice on the many benefits woodlands and forests can bring in development planning; and
• how to minimise woodland loss.

 The advice note The right tree in the right place- planning for forestry & woodlands  is available online at

Notes to news editors

1. Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate  There is an aspiration to increase woodland cover from the current 17 % of Scotland’s land mass to 25 % in the second half of this century.

2.    Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.