Positive news on forestry funding in Scotland

10 December 2021

Confor has reacted positively to the forestry funding announced in the new Scottish Government budget.

The budget describes "a further £69.5 million to be invested in woodland creation and sustainable management of Scotland's woodlands" - and links the money directly to the target of planting 15,000 hectares of new woodland annually.  

This figure is due to accelerate towards 18,000 hectares a year by 2024-25. 

The funding was part of the Budget for 2022-23 announcement by the Scottish Government’s Finance and Economy Secretary Kate Forbes MSP. She said it was designed to make Scotland “more prosperous, fairer and greener”. 

Stuart Goodall, Chief executive of forestry and wood trade body Confor, said: “I’m delighted to see the Scottish Government putting the additional money on the table required to meet its commitment to expand sustainable woodland creation in Scotland.  

“Scotland is planting 80% of all new woodland in the UK - and it is doing so with a clear purpose. Scotland’s tree planting locks up carbon while creating jobs and economic growth in rural areas, as well as providing the future supplies of wood we need to build new, zero carbon homes and much more.” 

Two Scottish Government Ministers, Mairi Gougeon MSP and Patrick Harvie MSP, visited the Zero Carbon House at COP26. Read more about it here

Mr Goodall continued: “Scotland had been facing a reduction in wood supply in the run-up to its net zero target of 2045, but the continued creation of new productive woodland that also delivers places for people and wildlife will enable us to build more with home-grown wood. It’s great to see a real understanding of the multiple benefits of modern forestry at Government level - and the resources to support this.” 

He said that Confor would continue to work closely and constructively with ministers and public forest bodies to help deliver a low-carbon, high value future for rural Scotland.