- Please could Scottish Forestry provide details of all correspondence between Scottish Forestry and Lost Forest Ltd, its land management agents, solicitors and any other representatives, both before and after the land was purchased by Lost Forest Ltd.
- Did Scottish Forestry provide (either before or after the sale) Lost Forest Ltd, its land management agents, solicitors and any other representatives advice on forestry grants that would be available for tree planting and any other capital or running costs, such as fencing, tracks, tree after care?
- The proposed planting scheme (complemented by some natural regeneration) at Kinrara appears to be in two or more phases. Please could Scottish Forestry provide a full breakdown of all forest grants that have been applied for by Lost Forest Ltd for all proposed works and how much has been approved and how much of this has been paid. Please provide breakdowns by year and their totals.
- In respect of the proposed work, was there an EIA to ascertain the impact of fences on wildlife such as capercaillie?
- Other estates in the area, such as Wildland Ltd, Mar Lodge and Abernethy have successful self-sown forest regeneration schemes without using fences, so this is more friendly to wildlife and more cost effective in terms of fencing, planting and tree guards. Why has Scottish Forestry approved/or is in the process of approving the Kinrara forest scheme when deer densities could instead be reduced to the west of Aviemore (also benefiting other forestry or rewilding estates) and to achieve forest regeneration?
- Scottish Forestry may have estimated the carbon sequestered over 100 years from the proposed Kinrara planting and regeneration scheme. Has it estimated the carbon sequestered that would result from reducing deer densities to achieve natural forest regeneration? If so, what was the difference in total carbon sequestered between fencing and deer density reduction options?
- Did Scottish Forestry consult NatureScot or the RPSB in respect of the proposed work at Kinrara. If not, why not?
As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exceptions under the following regulations:
An exception under the regulation 11(2) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested; Reg 11(2) (Personal data relating to third party).
An exception under the regulation 10(5)(g) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested. Reg 10(5)(g) (Protection of the Environment).
The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained in Annex A to this letter.
- I enclose a copy of the correspondence and other relevant documents* which Scottish Forestry holds between itself and Lost Forest Limited, its land management agents (Scottish Woodlands), solicitors and any other representatives from before and after the land was purchased.
- I can confirm that once the land had been purchased by Lost Forest Ltd, and Scottish Woodlands were appointed as agents Scottish Forestry has provided advice on forestry grants to Scottish Woodlands throughout the development of these applications. The details of grants are available on the rural payments web site Forestry Grant Scheme (ruralpayments.org) Scottish Forestry provides support to and works with landowners across Scotland to deliver the sustainable management and expansion of forests and woodlands. This includes working with applicants to the Forestry Grant Scheme to ensure their proposals are in line with the UK Forestry Standard and meet the requirements of the grant scheme.
- Two applications from Lost Forest Ltd for woodland creation at Kinrara have been received by Scottish Forestry. 21FGS62745-Lost Forest Woodland Creation Phase 1 has been approved and 23FGS70793-Lost Forest WC Phase 2 is still at the application stage. I enclose a breakdown of the grant funding that has been applied for, approved and claimed for both applications.
- Scottish Forestry considered the Lost Forest Woodland Creation Phase 1 proposals under The Forestry (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017. On 22nd March 2022 Scottish Forestry confirmed that the proposed work would not require EIA consent. I enclose a copy of the letter which was sent to Lost Forest Ltd and which outlines the reasons for that opinion. This considered impacts on Capercaillie. Scottish Forestry has not as yet provided a screening opinion for the “Lost Forest WC Phase 2” application.
- The approved proposal for Lost Forest Woodland Creation Phase 1 contains 323.86ha of native woodland planting and 102.19ha of natural regeneration of native woodland. The natural regeneration option within the Forestry Grant Scheme is only available where there is a suitable seed source of native trees and for areas where regeneration is likely to establish at the minimum stocking density of 400 stems per hectare by year five. Out with these areas native woodland planting will occur. The same approach will be taken for the Lost Forest WC Phase 2 application.
To regenerate or establish planted native woodland trees need to be protected from browsing by deer for a considerable period. In line with our guidance, please see: fgs-woodland-creation-application-guidance (4).pdf the applicants forestry agents, Scottish Woodlands, carried out pre-application discussions with stakeholders, including neighbours and the Monadhliath Deer Management Group. The discussions identified deer movement patterns, neighbours objectives and considered a number of different tree protection measures including alternatives to deer fencing. The discussions informed the detail of the deer management and fencing proposals, resulting in the approach outlined in the Woodland Creation Deer Management Plan which formed part of the application documents.
Scottish Forestry has assessed the information provided in support of the application and considers that the proposal to use deer fencing is appropriate for this site, it is in line with the UK Forestry Standard and will deliver the expansion of native woodlands in line with the Scottish Forestry Strategy.
- Scottish Forestry does not estimate the carbon likely to be sequestered from individual Forestry Grant Scheme applications and so no comparison has been carried out. The applicant has however registered the application with the Woodland Carbon Code and the project developer (Scottish Woodlands) has estimated the carbon sequestration using Woodland Carbon Code carbon prediction tools. This will be reviewed by an independent third party at validation. Details can be seen here under the name Kinrara UK Land Carbon Registry - UK Woodland Carbon Code.
- Nature Scot and RSPB were consulted on the proposals for the phase 1 application on the 20th January 2022 and were given 28 days to provide comments. In addition the proposals were placed on the Public Register of Forestry Grant Scheme woodland creation applications for the same period. The phase 2 application is not ready for consultation at this stage.
* Due to the size of the files we are unable to upload the documents referred to above. If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
- File type
- 1 page PDF
- File size
- 120.9 kB
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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