Publication - Consultation paper

Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029 draft: strategic environmental assessment (SEA)

Published: 22 Nov 2018

Findings of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the consultation draft of Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029.

120 page PDF

2.5 MB

120 page PDF

2.5 MB

Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029 draft: strategic environmental assessment (SEA)
1 Introduction

120 page PDF

2.5 MB

1 Introduction

1.1 Purpose of this Environmental Report

1.1.1 This report has been prepared in accordance with the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 (referred to hereafter as "the 2005 Act"). The 2005 Act requires all qualifying policies, plans, programmes and strategies (referred to generally as plans) to undergo SEA. This provides a systematic process for identifying, reporting and mitigating the environmental impacts of the proposed plan[14]. The SEA process comprises the following distinct stages:

  • Screening – determining whether a plan requires a SEA;
  • Scoping – establishing significant environmental topics, setting the environmental baseline, developing appropriate SEA objectives and consulting via a Scoping Report;
  • Environmental Assessment – assessing the potential environmental impact of the Strategy and consulting on both the draft plan and Environmental Report;
  • Post Adoption Statement – how the assessment and the consultation results have been considered within the finalised plan. Developing the monitoring strategy to assess progress once adopted;
  • Monitoring – monitoring significant environmental effects and taking appropriate remedial action for any unforeseen significant environmental effects.

1.1.2 The Forestry Strategy is a qualifying plan in accordance with Section 5(3) of the 2005 act, and therefore a SEA is required. Consequently screening was not undertaken. This report sets out the findings of the SEA undertaken on the draft Scottish Forestry Strategy 2019-29.

1.2 SEA activities to date

1.2.1 At each stage of the SEA process, there is a requirement to consult the statutory Consultation Authorities. These are Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The present SEA process began with the production of a Scoping Report submitted via the SEA Gateway to the Consultation Authorities in June 2018. This set out initial information on the likelihood of significant effects arising from the Forestry Strategy. It also provided an initial view on the proposed evidence base that would be used to inform the assessment. The representations of the Consultation Authorities to the Scoping stage have helped to inform the content of the draft Strategy and the SEA process. The SEA has subsequently progressed over the course of August and September 2018 in parallel with the preparation of the Forestry Strategy itself.

1.2.2 The key facts relating to the Scottish Forestry Strategy are set out in Table 1.

Table 1: Key Facts in relation to the Forestry Strategy

Responsible Authority

Forestry Commission Scotland (on behalf of the Scottish Government).

Title of Plan, Programme or Strategy (PPS)

The Scottish Forestry Strategy 2019-29

Reason for the PPS

The Strategy will set out the Government's long-term vision and priorities for forestry and provide the sector with the confidence needed to make the long-term investments and commitments required to ensure forestry in Scotland delivers increased environmental, economic and social benefits.

Subject of the PPS

The Strategy relates to the use, expansion, management and protection of all woodlands and forests in Scotland.

Period covered by PPS

The Forestry Strategy covers the period up to 2029.

Frequency of updates

Scottish Ministers are required to keep the Strategy under review and must revise it after 9 years, if not before.

Area covered by the PPS

The Forestry Strategy will cover Scotland as a whole.

Purpose and/or objectives of the PPS

The vision for the Forestry Strategy on Scotland is:

Scotland will have more forests and woodlands, which will be sustainably managed as a much greater part of the nation's natural capital, providing a resilient, high quality and growing resource that supports a strong economy, a thriving environment, and healthy and empowered communities.

This is supported by three objectives to focus action:

  • Increase the contribution of forests and woodlands to Scotland's sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
  • Protect and enhance Scotland's valuable natural assets, ensuring that our forests and woodlands are resilient and contribute to a healthy and high quality environment.
  • Use Scotland's forest and woodland resources to empower more people to improve their health, well-being and life chances.


For further information related to the Forestry Strategy please contact:

The Forestry Strategy Team
Tel: 0300 067 6568


Email: Bob Frost