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Forestry

The Scottish forestry sector is worth £1 billion annually, supports 25,000 jobs and is at the heart of many rural communities. The Scottish Government recognises the economic, social and environmental benefits already delivered by forestry in Scotland and is committed to ensuring that forestry can deliver more in the future. Recent work includes completing devolution and streamlining grant processes.

Forestry strategy and policy is set by Scottish Ministers. Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) manages the Scottish Ministers’ National Forest Estate (NFE) on behalf of Scottish Ministers for the benefit of the people of Scotland. Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) who serve as the forestry directorate of the Scottish Government, are responsible for delivering policy, advice, regulation and grants and advising and implementing forestry policy.

News

Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill passed by Parliament

20 March 2018

The Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament today. This is the first forestry legislation since the Parliament was reconvened in 1999 and completes the process of devolution of forestry that was started with the Scotland Act nearly 20 years ago.

All the Bill documents can be found on the Scottish Parliament's page.

Further analysis highlights financial implications of single agency

12 March 2018

Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing has written to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee with further detail on the practical implications of the creation of a single agency and advice from the Scottish Government’s Chief Financial Officer, Gordon Wales detailing the significant implications that establishing a single agency would entail. View the correspondence.

Positive response to ‘Forestry in Scotland’ statement

23 February 2018

Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing has welcomed the breadth of positive response from stakeholders to the Forestry in Scotland statement published on 5 February 2018.

The stakeholders include the Chair of the Forestry Commission, Scottish Land and Estates, Community Land Scotland, Community Woodlands Association, Confor, BSW Timber and UK Forest Products Association. View the correspondence.

Forestry in Scotland statement published

5 February 2018

A statement – Forestry in Scotland- which outlines how Scottish Ministers will manage and administer their forestry responsibilities when devolution of forestry is completed to Scotland, was published today. The statement fulfils a commitment made by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing to make available further details on the future arrangements required to complete devolution.

Stage 2 of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill proceedings conclude

13 December 2017

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing attended the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee session today for the concluding session of Stage 2 of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill. The completion of this stage, the main amending stage of the process, marks another milestone in  the progression of the Bill through Parliament.

More detail of the session can be found in the Official Report. An “as amended” version of the Bill will be published by the Parliament on 14 December 2017.

Parliament debate the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill

7 November 2017

Parliament debated and agreed to the general principles of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill today, marking the end of Stage 1. More detail of the session can be found in the Official Report.

Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee publish their Stage 1 report on the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill

6 October 2017

The Committee published their Stage 1 report on the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill today following their consideration of evidence. More detail can be found in the RECC Committee Report.

New organisational structures announced

11 May 2017

New organisational structures for forestry were announced on 11 May 2017 by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing. The new structures will be:

  • A new executive agency based on the existing Forest Enterprise Scotland: Forestry and Land Scotland. This agency will focus initially on management and development of our National Forest Estate and has potential to take on a wider land management role

  • A dedicated Forestry Division, previously Forestry Commission Scotland, within the Scottish Government to lead on forestry policy, advice, regulation and grants

Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill introduced to Parliament

10 May 2017

The Forestry and Land Manangement (Scotland) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 10 May 2017.

The policy aims of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill are to deliver:

  • Improved accountability, transparency and policy alignment

  • A modernised legislative framework

  • More effective use of Scotland’s publicly owned land

The Bill and accompanying documents have been published by the Scottish Parliament and more information can be found in the completing devolution section.