The Scottish Woodlot Association (SWA) took another step forward with the recent signing of its second Woodlot Licence agreement, at Solsgirth near Dollar.
Richard Pease, 36, from Kincardine, the new holder of the Woodlot Licence, runs Forth Tree Surgery covering the central belt of Scotland and plans to manage his woodlot in support of his wider forestry business.
Under the terms of the licence Richard will be responsible for managing the woodlot according to a management plan agreed with the landowner, David Broome. This will include felling and extracting timber, which he will then be allowed to process & sell himself, as firewood and sawn timber. In return Richard will pay an annual rental for the woodlot.
The woodlands at Solsgirth are also well used by a local shooting syndicate with whom Richard will liaise closely. It is expected that his personal input and attention to detail – features of woodlot licence management - will improve the woodlands for shooting and so benefit the syndicate’s activities.
Scottish woodlot licences have been inspired by the situation in British Columbia (BC) where the Provincial Government has been running a highly successful woodlot licence programme on Crown land for over 30 years. There, they are seen as an important part of a diverse forestry sector, delivering particular local and community benefits, and as such are being actively promoted and expanded by the Government of BC. The SWA hope in time that woodlot licence tenure will also become an important ‘family forestry’ model in a more diverse Scottish forestry.