Woodland Creation

Background

There is an on-going ambition to increase tree planting across Scotland. The current target is 10,000Ha rising to 15,000Ha a year in the near to medium term. However, the land values and the land needs for other kind of uses, such as farming, present barriers to the success of this project. In 2012, the Scottish Government responded to the recommendations of its Woodland Expansion Advisory Group with an Action Plan. This will inform a more integrated approach to land use and address problems that prevent woodland expansion. This work continues to influence and inform other woodland creation projects in the CSGN.

Woodland expansion is also supported by the Woodland Carbon Code which enables carbon offset planting in Central Scotland.

New Forestry and woodland strategies are available to guide appropriate locations for woodland creation. The strategies that cover the CSGN are: Ayrshire & Arran, Glasgow & Clyde ValleyCentral Scotland ForestEdinburgh & LothiansFife

The following video from FCS shows how woodland creation projects in the CSGN provide a range of opportunities and benefits to local authorities, including biodiversity, community regeneration and emissions reduction.

Short term goals

To encourage more woodland creation, we aim by 2016 to:

• Deliver a CSGN Woodland Creation Action Plan that presents key parts of the Forestry and Woodland Strategies for the CSGN area and analyses the difficulties that the project might face.
• Identify and review new and innovative ways to develop woodland creation within the CSGN area.
• Achieve a step change in the rate of woodland creation (compared to the 2010 baseline).

This work is being taken forward by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) through its CSGN Woodland Creation Programme.

Progress so far

During 2012/13, the CSGN Woodland Creation Programme has:

• Brought together Forest & Woodland Strategy mapping and data for the CSGN area to identify opportunities for woodland expansion.
• Developed new financial support measures for woodland creation throughout the CSGN in the proposed Scottish Rural Development Programme for 2014 - 2020.
• Commissioned a 2010 Baseline Survey to establish the contribution woodland made to CSGN in 2010. In the interim, the 25 year softwood timber forecast for CSGN is now available. 
• Explored the Woodland Carbon Code as a new funding mechanism for woodland creation in the CSGN.
• Promoted new woodland creation and support for forestry at events throughout CSGN.
• Supported a farm forestry survey in the CSGN area to assess the potential for future farm woodland management and woodland expansion.

The CSGN Woodland Creation Programme works to the CSGN Woodland Expansion Steering Group, a technical forestry group formed to offer input to project work. Membership of the group comprises private forestry consultants, woodland advisers, charitable bodies as well as farmer and landowners' representatives.

For more information on the CSGN Woodland Creation Programme contact:

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CSGN Woodland Creation Programme Manager
FCS Central Scotland Conservancy

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