Up until now, we have owned the National Forest Estate (NFE), provided funding and had responsibility for forestry strategy and policy, but the management of the NFE and delivery of the functions has been the responsibility of the Forestry Commissioners.
The Forestry Commission is a cross-border public authority and UK non-ministerial department with a statutory Board of Commissioners. The Commission is made up of a number of parts, including:
- Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES), which has carried out forestry operations and managed the NFE on Scottish Ministers' behalf
- Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), which is responsible for the other forestry functions in Scotland
Two new agencies
As we complete the devolution of forestry to Scotland, FCS and FES will become two new agencies of the Scottish Government:
- Scottish Forestry will be responsible for regulatory, policy, support and grant-giving functions
- Forestry and Land Scotland will be responsible for the management of the NFE
Staff from FCS and FES will be transferred to the two new agencies under the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice (COSoP) and remain civil servants.
These actions will be delivered under three projects within the Forestry Devolution Programme:
- the Scottish Forestry Project
- the Forestry and Land Scotland Project
- the Staff Transfer Project
In February 2018 we published the Forestry in Scotland statement in which we outlined our plan for managing and administering our future forestry responsibilities.
We will publish an updated statement setting out the final organisational arrangements by 1 April 2019.