Sir, – Fake news sprung to mind when I read the headline 'Tree planting protects communities from flooding', in The SF, April 20 edition.

Is it unreasonable to ask what evidence has been used to justify these bold claims? Because far from the 'growing body of evidence' I would question whether there is one single piece of scientific evidence to show that flooding is reduced when trees have been planted on rough grazing land.

Ms Gougeon (Scottish minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment) and Mr Goodall (spokesman for Confor) should be aware of the recently published results of a very detailed and comprehensive review of all the available evidence on this very subject. The review was carried out by the government's own Forest Research Group and the evidence led them to conclude that 'upland forestry is unlikely to affect downstream flood risks'.

The same report mentions several forest practices, such as ploughing, ditching, road-making and clear-felling, which 'can increase the speed of water runoff'.

But hey, why let a few inconvenient facts get in the way of a good story!

Walter Douglas