PROTECTING Scotland’s water courses is the focus of a new guide for forest workers, covering issues such as storing fuel, fertilisers and pesticides, forest roads and water supplies.

The booklet ‘Know the Rules’, with accompanying car sticker, is aimed at all those who work in forests, and aims to get operators to raise the bar on how forestry operations are planned, communicated and managed in order to minimise diffuse pollution risk and protect the water environment.

The new guidance, initiated by FCS and SEPA, with the assistance of Confor, the Forestry Contractors Association and the Scottish Government, promotes the message of "prevention rather than cure".

FCS advisor Dr Julia Garritt said: “The Forestry and Water Scotland initiative is a great example of partnership working, and of trying to reduce costs and increase effectiveness by having shared messages.

“The booklet and sticker focus on compliance with the UK Forestry Standard, but accommodate the specific water legislation in Scotland, which allows low-risk activities like agriculture, sheep farming and forestry to be undertaken according to General Binding Rules.

“The straightforward messages remind all forest workers about the minimum legal requirements and the good forestry practice requirements of the UKFS, which all those working in forests should comply with.”

The booklet and vehicle sticker join other useful materials, including videos on water management when cultivating and harvesting, on a new Forestry & Water Scotland website.