Hearing evidence from the forest industry in terms of its scrutiny of the draft budget, the REC Committee this week considered the extent to which the forestry budget might meet Scotland’s Forestry ambitions.
It was clear from all those asked to represent the forestry sector at the evidence session, that they do not consider that the current budget for new planting schemes is sufficient to deliver the 10,000 hectare per year target. It was also clear that there is now the will and availability of schemes to meet this type of planting ambition if public funds can be made available to support it. Other barriers and difficulties to woodland expansion were also explored in the session, including the need for consistency and predictability in the grant process itself, something the SRDP process does not lend itself too particularly well, given that the goal posts tend to move every 7 years, and the need to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy which it is hoped Jim McKinnon’s impending report will help to address. To see the full session go to
http://www.scottishparliament.tv/Archive?Area=&categoryId=97a26107-6548-40fa-90e0-2c9ed4878d9a&parentCategoryClicked=False&pageNumber=1&orderByField=ScheduledStart&queryOrder=DESC – the evidence session starts at 1hr and 46 mins.