Lost Forest Planting Phase 1 at Kinrara: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004


Information requested

Information the Scottish Forestry holds about Brewdog's Phase 1 planting of the Lost Forest which has resulted in the death of many of the trees planted https://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2023/11/11/brewdogs-lost-forest-at-kinrara-a-long-way-from-net-zero/

  1. Please provide me with all correspondence to and from BrewDog and their agents in relation to the above contract and the work that has taken place on the Lost Forest in 2023
  2. Please provide me with any information Scottish Forestry holds on how many of the trees planted this year have taken and how many died
  3. Please provide with information Scottish Forestry holds about how much of the money due to BrewDog this year for Phase 1 of the Lost Forest has been paid, whether any has been withhold or is being clawed back and the reasons for that

Regarding question 1, you subsequently clarified that your request should be taken to refer to only correspondence relating to the work that has taken place on the Lost Forest in 2023 under the contract.

Response

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.

Response to your request
1) Please provide me with all correspondence to and from BrewDog and their agents in relation to the above contract and the work that has taken place on the Lost Forest in 2023

This information will be emailed separately to you due to the size of the documents. 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 an exception under regulation 11(2) (Personal data relating to third party) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested. This information has been redacted in the supplied documentation.

2) Please provide me with any information Scottish Forestry holds on how many of the trees planted this year have taken and how many died.

The planting work in Lost forest Phase 1 was completed in 2022. The Forestry Grant Scheme application and subsequent claims are based on areas of the forest under each of the different grant option which carry a minimum stocking density requirement rather than on tree numbers. The table below shows the option and the minimum stocking requirement and the area covered by the different species. The last column is the expected minimum tree numbers that would be expected at full establishment, which is generally expected 5 years after planting. The grant contract is 20 years.

Species/option

Stocking density

Area (ha)

Derived Minimum expected tree numbers

Scots Pine

1600

115.57

184912

Birch

1600

141.98

227168

Native broadleaves (Oak)

1600

28.1

44960

Birch – low density

500

5.96

2980

Designed open ground

 

23.77

 

Scottish Forestry has not carried out a full site survey nor received information from the applicant on their stocking density assessment. However, a number of SF staff did a site inspection on 7th September 2023. They noted that the fence and species boundaries were as per the agreed grant contract.

  • For the pine, they noted the initial planting density of 1600/ha was achieved but there was high mortality of trees across the site with an initial estimate of 50 to 56%.
  • For the birch, they noted an estimated planting density of 1700 and did not comment on mortality of this species within the inspection report.
  • Within the native broadleaved option area they noted very high mortality of around 95% at the inspection.

The inspection also noted that there was some evidence of deer inside the deer fence with evidence of browsing.

The level of loss here is higher than normal which may be down to climatic factors after planting. The agent/owner will be required to replant the failed sections as a condition of the FGS contract to ensure that it is a fully stocked woodland at establishment.

3) Please provide with information Scottish Forestry holds about how much of the money due to BrewDog this year for Phase 1 of the Lost Forest has been paid, whether any has been withhold or is being clawed back and the reasons for that

To date the applicant has claimed for the fencing elements and also for the initial planting phase. This equates to £690986.90.

Scottish Forestry have not withheld payment for work completed nor is the agency currently in the process of reclaiming any grant money.

However, if the landowner/agent fails to achieve the minimum stocking density of live growing trees at establishment, or they fail to adequately protect and maintain the woodland throughout the life of the 20 year FGS grant contract, Scottish Forestry could reclaim grant funding from the applicant.

About FOI

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.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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