We are supporting the maintenance and growth of Scotland's forests and forestry industry, so that we may continue to enjoy the benefits they bring to our economy, environment, climate and wellbeing.

We are completing the devolution of forestry to Scotland to ensure forestry is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and to the Scottish Parliament. We intend to complete devolution by April 2019.

In building and modernising our approach to forestry, we are also preparing the first statutory forestry strategy for Scotland.


We are working with the Forestry Commission to deliver the Forestry Devolution Programme, which involves:


Forestry contributes £1 billion per year to the Scottish economy and supports more than 25,000 jobs.

Scottish Ministers are committed to delivering economic, social and environmental benefits through forestry in Scotland.

We currently achieve this through Forest Enterprise Scotland, which manages the National Forest Estate, and Forestry Commission Scotland, which is responsible for forestry strategy and policy.

Devolution of forestry

In June 2015 we announced that we would work with the UK Government to devolve forestry to Scotland completely.

We are working with the Welsh and UK governments, as well as officials from the Forestry Commission, to explore options for delivering forestry operations, including updating and strengthening cross-border co-operation on relevant forestry matters.

Forestry Devolution Programme

The Forestry Devolution Programme comprises the following projects:

  • Legislation Project: complete passage of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act, secondary legislation in the Scottish Parliament, and consequential Scotland Act Orders at Westminster
  • Forestry and Land Scotland Project: establish Forestry and Land Scotland as an agency of the Scottish Government, from Forestry Enterprise Scotland (FES)
  • Scottish Forestry Project: establish Scottish Forestry as an agency of the Scottish Government, from Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS)
  • Cross-border Arrangements Project: establish the cross-border functions (economics, UK Forestry Standard, and Woodland Carbon Code) that Scotland will have lead responsibility for delivering as part of the new agreement between the Scottish, Welsh and UK Governments, and confirm Scotland's requirements for the cross-border functions being delivered by the UK and Wales
  • Staff Transfer Project: transfer FCS and FES staff to the Scottish Government under the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice (COSoP), under which they will remain civil servants
  • Forestry Strategy Project: prepare a new Forestry Strategy for Scotland

Bills and legislation

The Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018 makes new provisions regarding Scottish Ministers’ functions in relation to forestry. Find more information on our forestry legislation page.

Background information about the passage of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill can be found in our website archive. 


Email: futureforestry@gov.scot

Telephone: Central Enquiries Unit 0300 244 4000

Scottish Government
Forestry Devolution Team
Environment and Forestry Directorate
Area 3G South
Victoria Quay

For enquiries regarding the forestry strategy email: forestry.strategy@forestry.gsi.gov.uk