By Scottish Forestry acting CEO, Alan Hampson

Scotland’s forests and woodlands were front and centre on the world’s stage with COP26.

Building on this, Scottish Forestry has been set a task to increase woodland cover in Scotland. Our aim is to do this in a way that ensures farm woodlands are stitched into the landscape, with the right tree in the right place.

Over the past few years we’ve built stronger working relationships with the farming community and NFUS. Many farmers are seeing the benefits of growing trees to their businesses.

In fact, around 80% of recent woodland creation applications are from smaller businesses – mostly farmers.

For 2022, we are keen to continue working with farmers and crofters to help them consider if tree planting is right for them.

We’ve improved the guidance, introduced a Small Woodlands Loan Scheme and our free Farm Woodland Assessments have been popular.

We are to build on the success of the farmer-led Integrating Trees Network initiative so that farmers can hear from other farmers on their woodland creation experiences .

In the coming year we are also working with the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association to encourage more tenanted business to grow trees.

We are keen to continue collaborating and help the farming community – our door will always be open in 2022.