A Kirkcudbright woodsman has become the latest in Scotland to benefit from a Woodlot Licence.
The Scottish Woodlot Association (SWA) has continued its steady expansion of the model with the recent signing of its third Woodlot Licence agreement, at The Stell near Kirkcudbright.
George Moore, 52, the new holder of the Woodlot Licence, works in forest management as a self-employed agent, and is also regional secretary of the Royal Scottish Forestry Society. The 3 acre woodland of larch and mixed broadleaves lies on sloping ground at the head of the Dee estuary.
Under the terms of the licence George will be responsible for managing the woodlot according to a management plan agreed with the landowners, Tommy and Margaret Reid. This will include felling and extracting timber, which he will then be allowed to process and use or sell himself, as firewood and sawn timber. In return George will pay an annual rental for the woodlot.
The Woodlot Licence at Stell Wood takes the concept of local forest management to new heights as George lives immediately adjacent - for ‘timber miles’ think ‘timber yards’. It is expected that his personal input and attention to detail – features of Woodlot Licence management - will improve the health and quality of the woodlands to benefit both people and wildlife.
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.