The Scottish forestry sector contributes substantially to our rural economy and a number of social and environmental outcomes, including climate change mitigation, biodiversity, natural flood management, recreation and people’s health and wellbeing.
Scottish Ministers currently determine strategy and policy for forestry in Scotland but the management of forestry - including of the Scottish Ministers’ National Forest Estate - has remained with the Forestry Commissioners (a UK Non-Ministerial Department and, since devolution, a cross-border public authority).
This consultation is primarily about completing the devolution of forestry to make the management of forestry directly accountable to Scottish Ministers.
The focus of the proposals are threefold:
- To introduce new organisational arrangements so that the management of forestry in Scotland is fully accountable to the Scottish Ministers and to the Scottish Parliament.
- To ensure that we have in place effective cross-border arrangements where those suit Scottish needs.
- To replace the Forestry Act 1967 with a modern approach to the development, support and regulation of forestry.