SCOTGOV'S commitment to plant more trees over the coming year and invest more funding into the sector has been welcomed by the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Commenting on the plan to plant 12,000 hectares over 2019/2020, with an additional investment of £5 million, the institute’s director Shireen Chambers said: “The country has already exceeded planting targets but the sector needs to continue to be ambitious. Forestry has a vital role in the face of climate change challenges and as professionals, our members are in a prime position to rise to these challenges, in both rural areas and in towns and cities."

ScotGov has also committed to complete its work responding to the Mackinnon Review to ensure efficiency and consistency of grant making for new planting. “We hope that completing the final recommendations from this review will be undertaken soon," said Ms Chambers. "In 2016 Fergus Ewing accepted in principle all the recommendations from this important review into reducing the complexity, duration and cost of tree planting applications.

“In particular, the Institute is keen to be working with the relevant organisations to develop and deliver appropriate professional training across the sector. We want to be working to develop the approach of appointing accredited forestry professionals to certify that woodland creation proposals meet the UK Forestry Standard,” she added.