This week saw the second of Fergus Ewing’s Forestry Summits held in Boat of Garten, near Aviemore (following the first one hosted by Scottish Land & Estates in the South West). At the event, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing said:
“Today’s forestry event in Boat of Garten is about listening to the industry as part of my focus on building growth in our rural economy.
“This is an important moment for the £1 billion forestry sector in Scotland as we have recently launched a consultation on plans to complete its devolution. This will safeguard the future of one of Scotland’s most precious assets, which supports at least 25,000 jobs and plays a pivotal role in tackling climate change among many other benefits.
At the event the Cabinet Secretary highlighted that the Forestry Commission had just awarded £6.5 million in funding to new woodland creation schemes across Scotland with projects ranging from a large native woodland scheme in Knoydart, to productive, sustainable conifer schemes in Perthshire, Argyll and the border hills.
Fergus Ewing said:
“To generate further growth we need to get more trees in the ground. This latest grant funding is a significant government investment towards this goal, and I am pleased to see that the rate of new planting proposals has increased, though funding is, of course, only part of the story.
“We want to speed up and streamline approval processes for sustainable planting schemes. New woodland creation will help strengthen forestry’s contribution to our rural economy as well as helping to meet our climate change targets.”