EIGHT IN 10 people polled about their attitude to tree-planting agreed that there should be more forestry in the Scottish Highlands.

The Forestry and Land Scotland-commissioned survey of 1000 people aged between 18 and 35 years-old found that 80% of them agreed that the Highlands should be reforested, and over 78% of respondents said more should be done to support the biodiversity of the region

More than 90% of respondents said they supported productive forestry as a way to mitigate climate change and for Scotland to become more self-sufficient in timber production

The Highlands are currently home to approximately 350,000 hectares of forestry, representing around 13.5% of the land area. Between 40-50% of this woodland is managed by FLS, which produces some 500,000 tonnes of timber each year, that goes to housebuilding, fencing, pallets and other uses.

FLS north region manager, Graeme Prest, said: “There is strong support in Scotland for increasing the amount of timber we grow here by planting more forests, to make us less dependent on timber imports from abroad – and to support biodiversity. It’s about planting the right tree in the right place.

“Some of Scotland’s endangered and iconic species such as red squirrels, ospreys, hen harriers and pine marten do especially well in productive forests. We have received £30million from the Scottish Government to buy more land to plant more publicly owned forests and woodlands. This will enable us to increase our tree planting effort by 20% by 2024/25, helping to meet the Government’s ambitious net zero targets. The Highlands will play a key role in helping us meet this target.”