SIR, – The £150m-plus pledged by ScotGov to support the planting of more trees is a lot of money by anyone’s standards, even accepting that planting will combat climate change.

Hopefully, a good proportion of the money will support the planting of broadleaves and natural regeneration, alongside the inevitable conifers and thereby also boost the biodiversity benefits increasingly claimed by Confor.

It will, however, do nothing for local food production, which is surely a new priority in the light of Covid-19; or for farming, unless Scottish Forestry and Land, as the arm of ScotGov, can lead the way by incorporating space for starter farms in the £30m which has been allocated to them for their share of the new planting.

Whatever happens, the £150m pledge stands in stark contrast to the infinitely smaller package of support pledged for agri-environment schemes, the future of which still remains uncertain. Environmentally-sensitive farming supports food production, biodiversity and combats climate change. We must hope for a more proportionate recognition of that from ScotGov soon.

Michael Clarke

Nature Friendly Farming Network,