Industry welcomes Scottish Government commitment to greater tree planting and wood use

1 September 2020

Pledges to drive up tree planting and wood use to tackle climate change and create jobs have been welcomed by forestry and wood-using trade body Confor.

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, said: “The announcement of significant extra funding for forestry in today’s Programme for Government is great news for our environment and our economy.   

“The commitment to increase Scotland’s woodland creation target to 18,000 hectares in 2024/25 shows real ambition and a growing recognition of the importance of Scotland’s forestry sector for the country’s Green Recovery, its future prosperity and its net zero ambitions. 

“And it’s excellent to see the related ambition to increase the use of Scottish wood in construction from 2.2 million cubic meters (2018) to 2.6 million cubic meters in 2021/2022.”

Mr Goodall added: “With around 90% of new tree planting being done by the private sector, the onus will be on Confor’s member businesses to deliver these ambitions facilitated by further improvements to the current grant scheme.  

"As the planting target goes beyond the lifetime of the current Scottish Parliament, Confor is calling on all parties ahead of next year’s election to incorporate the same level of ambition into their own policy platforms - to give certainty of support to businesses in delivering economic growth and environmental benefit. 

“With the UK Government aiming for 30,000 hectares of new woodland creation by 2025, it is clear that Scotland will continue to deliver the vast majority of this. This positive statement of purpose puts the onus very firmly on the  other countries in the UK to deliver their part of the overall target."