9.1 Many informed stakeholders and individuals took part in the consultation. They were typically highly-engaged and knowledgeable about issues related to forestry and woodland management, sharing expertise, examples and reflections on ways the proposals may affect tree owners in Scotland. These responses provide a useful evidence base for the Scottish Government to draw upon in the development of the final proposals.
9.2 At a broad level, responses to the proposals were generally positive, evident by the very few calls to remove proposals put forward in the consultation document. However, participants frequently called for adjustments. These typically reflected their concerns about impacts on businesses or the environment; often these views were at odds with each other. This presents a challenge for those drafting the proposals; it is likely that the final proposals will not satisfy all stakeholders.
9.3 Reflecting across responses, it was evident that participants would like more guidance about aspects of the proposals, particularly in relation to exemptions, applications, permissions and compensation and directions. There were frequent calls for the proposals to make more references to the UK Forestry Standard. In some cases, participants asked for greater clarity about aspects of the proposals, requesting that the Scottish Government outline specific timescales for processes set out in the proposals and define terms such as ‘sustainable forest management’.
Email: Katherine Pauling