Non-Timber Forest Products


picture of red berries

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) include all woodland resources, both plant and animal, other than timber. Examples include:

NTFPs represent another alternative use of forestry which has been promoted by Reforesting Scotland and which has subsequently started to become more mainstream.

Reforesting Scotland projects involving NTFPs have also been described as "Forest Harvest" and "Wild Harvests" projects. This more accessible language often seems more appropriate for communicating such immediate and engaging activities.

Reforesting Scotland and NTFPs

1. NTFP seminars

Reforesting Scotland has held seminars on various aspects of NTFP production and marketing. Most recently we co-organised the Woodland Bounty event and the 2009 Wild Harvests of Scotland events.

2. ForestHarvest website

Screenshot of the ForestHarvest homepage, taken on 27 March 2008 In 2004 Reforesting Scotland took on the maintainance & development of the ForestHarvest website, Scotland's only website dedicated to providing information about the diversity of products available from Scottish woodlands.

One of the purposes of this site is to help develop the untapped market potential of these products, and it includes information on gathering, management and trading of NTFPs, including a database of buyers and case studies of operating businesses.

Click here to go to the ForestHarvest website.

3. Rural Alternatives Shared Futures project

The Rural Alternatives Shared Futures project supported four partner communities in developing NTFP use locally, to demonstrate the potential of NTFPs to provide cultural, environmental and economic benefits throughout Scotland.

See the Rural Alternatives Shared Futures page and the Rural Alternatives Shared Futures project reports page for more details.

4. Scottish NTFP Sector Research and Development project

Photo - a handful of wild mushroomsResponding to recommendations made at the 2006 Wild Harvests seminar in Beauly, this project evaluated the potential for a trade body to represent and support NTFP enterprises in Scotland, and discussed ideas for a labelling scheme to identify sustainable wild-harvested and woodland products from Scotland. Representatives of a range of businesses took part in in-depth interviews, so we could learn more about their needs and views. They also helped us to build up a picture of trends and the economic value of the sector.

This project was funded by Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, and the research was conducted between January 2007 and March 2007.

5. Scottish Working Woods label

Logo of the Scottish Working Woods label

The Scottish Working Woods label is designed to promote both timber and non-timber products from Scotland's woods. Reforesting Scotland helped to ensure that the label procedures will work for non-timber businesses, reporting on the findings of the NTFP Sector Research and Development Project.

The label was launched at the Touchwood festival in June 2007, with representatives from trade associations, the Forestry Commission, the press, and woodland products businesses, among others. Refreshments included wild garlic cheese and rowan berry jelly kindly donated by local businesses and sourced by Reforesting Scotland. Reforesting Scotland also arranged a display of products from NTFP businesses, which was displayed at Touchwood and then later in the month at Edinburgh Treefest and at the Big Tent in Falkland.

The label is owned and managed by a consortium of trade associations in Scotland. In the absence of a trade association for non-timber products, Reforesting Scotland agreed to act as a contact point for non-timber businesses interested in using the label. With the successful conclusion of the Wild Harvests Sector Support project in summer 2009, this role passed on to the Scottish Wild Harvests Association. Individual Reforesting Scotland members continue to be involved in the running of the label scheme.

The Scottish Working Woods label development and launch were funded by Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Enterprise. To find out more, visit the Scottish Working Woods website.

6. Sustainable Forest Harvest project

This project, which ran from December 2007 to summer 2009, was a response to calls for more work towards monitoring NTFP harvests in Scotland, and towards establishing a culture of sustainable harvesting.

See the Sustainable Forest Harvest project page for more details.

7. Wild Harvests Sector Support project

This project focused on people who base their livelihoods around Scotland's wild and woodland products. It ran a series of meetings for wild harvests businesses, culminating in the launch of the Scottish Wild Harvests Association in July 2009.

See the Wild Harvests Sector Support project page for more details.

More information

ForestHarvest website

The ForestHarvest website continues to be the main source of information on NTFPs in Scotland.

Reforesting Scotland Journal

Cover of issue 29 of Reforesting Scotland

Issue 29 (Spring 2003) of the Reforesting Scotland Journal has a special feature on non-timber forest products, and contains the following articles:

If you wish to buy this issue, please see the information on ordering back issues on the Reforesting Scotland Journal page.

Community Woodland information sheet

Cover of the Community Woodland information sheet on non-timber forest products

Reforesting Scotland has also published an information sheet on non-timber forest products as part of the Community Woodland Information Pack. The sheet is divided into the following sections:

Information on ordering this sheet can be found on the information sheets page.

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