Public to be consulted over future of Scottish forest land

public consultation on the future of Scotland’s forestry sector was launched last week

A public consultation on the future of Scotland’s forestry sector was launched last week. It is part of the first full-scale review of forests in Scotland since the Forestry Commission was established after the end of the First World War. Forestry Commission Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Executive, manages over 660,000 ha of forest and other land. The consultation, which runs until 27 February 2004, poses questions about the future management of forest areas. Issues include: community involvement in forest management and planning; whether more woods and forests should be created close to towns and cities; rights over the purchase or lease of national forest land; the potential role of forest land in Scottish Executive priorities, including renewable energy, tourism and affordable housing; and the degree of emphasis that should be placed on nature conservation or landscape enhancement. Forestry minister Allan Wilson said: “It is very important that we thoroughly understand what the public really want from woods and forests. I hope everyone will tell us what they think, whether their interest is in timber production, nature conservation or any other aspect.” In January, seven public meetings will be held at venues across Scotland. The review is due for completion by May next year. The consultation document, Review of Land Managed by Forestry Commission Scotland — Consultation Paper, can be ordered from Kenny Murray on 0131 314 6408 or e-mail kenny.murray@forestry.gsi.gov.uk.

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