Scottish Forestry Strategy Review Consultation

Reforesting Scotland's response Sept 2005

Question 1:

What do you think have been the best things to happen in forestry since 2000?

Forestry for people, at least in the public sector, has started to be taken more seriously. Important achievements include:

Question 2:

Has the Forestry Strategy failed to deliver anything important?

Yes, see below:

Question 3:

Is the broad content of the current Forestry Strategy still relevant and appropriate?

Scotland's people and communities need to be the main priority for the strategy and this should be reflected in its content, priorities, actions - and outcomes

Question 4:

Are any changes now required to the Forestry Strategy's Vision, Guiding Principles and Strategic Directions? If so what are they?

Yes, we suggest:

"Scotland will be renowned as a land of fine trees, woods and forests, populated by vibrant communities, providing real social benefits locally and nationally, supporting thriving wood-based industries, and a sustainable land use culture"

Guiding principles and strategic directions should be rewritten to remove the emphasis on the softwood timber industry, and relate them more directly to people's needs and diverse benefits - health, jobs, community, education, quality of life i.e. the real political agenda

Question 5:

Should any of the existing priorities for action be dropped? If so, which ones?

Yes, see below:

Question 6:

Should there be any new priorities for Action? If so, what should they be?

Proposed new strategic directions and priorities for action include:

1. Woodlands for people

2. Woodlands for a healthy environment

3. Woodlands for quality forest management

4. Woodlands for a healthy, diverse economy

Question 7:

Is an appropriate balance being achieved between the economic, environmental and social aspects of forestry? If not, please give specific examples

Question 8:

Do you agree that the Scottish Forestry Strategy should be focused primarily on increasing the benefits of forestry to the people of Scotland?

Question 9:

Should woodlands play a greater role in helping Scotland deal with climate change? If so, how?

Question 10:

What should be the role of forestry in sustainable rural development?

Question 11:

How could forestry become more of an exemplar of sustainable development in Scotland?

Question 12:

How could Scotland respond to the opportunities presented by the increasing supply of timber from Scotland's woodlands?

Question 13:

How could the overall economic potential of Scotland's woodlands be increased?

Question 14:

Should the private and public forestry sectors engage further in social issues such as deprivation, health, equality and disability? If so, how?

Question 15:

Has there been sufficient focus on the contribution of woodlands to the enhancement of our natural heritage? If not, what more needs to be done?

No, although this is definitely moving in the right direction, and it is a long process. Current aims of the strategy are not being met because there is inadequate attention paid to getting action undertaken where it is most needed or where benefit will be greatest, and leaving change in the hands of willing owners. As a result many woodland SSSIs are still in poor management and are degrading, the habitat network work development is slow, and many ancient and semi-natural woods are similarly ignored - especially in the lowlands where there is still far too little woodland development. Priorities include:

Question 16:

Has there been sufficient focus on the contribution of woodlands to the enhancement of our cultural heritage? If not, what more needs to be done?

Question 17:

How can the forestry sector be better integrated with other land uses?

Question 18:

How should we determine the appropriate extent and distribution of woodland in Scotland? How much woodland do we need? What type of woodland do we need? Where do we need it?

Question 19:

Should regional priorities be reflected in the revised Strategy? If so, how?

Question 20:

Is the balance of support mechanisms for forestry about right? If not, how should it change?

Question 21:

Could forestry incentives be better focused on key priorities? If so how?

Question 22:

Additional comments?

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