At a Scotsman breakfast seminar on Thursday of this week, the Cabinet Secretary responding to a question from Senior Policy Officer, Anne Gray, said that he could give assurances that the proposed new agency, Forestry and Land Scotland, would have a central focus on forestry matters.
The question came as a result of concerns expressed by some Scottish Land & Estates forestry members that the new agency, which has a wide enough remit to enable it to manage land other than for forestry on behalf of the State, may quickly lose a main focus on forestry management. The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, was able to give assurances that the agency would be focussed on forestry and that the inclusion of the possibly of a wider remit in the proposal was simply to allow Parliament not to be constrained in future should it wish to widen its remit.
The Breakfast Seminar considered a number of issues around the future arrangements for forestry in Scotland in light of the Government’s current consultation on the matter. Speakers included not only Mr Ewing, but Stuart Goodall of ConFor, Adam Gillingham from Turcan Connell and Elizabeth Barron-Majerik from UHI.
The Government consultation closes on Wednesday the 9th November and anyone wishing to feed into Scottish Land & Estates response should contact Anne Gray before then.