Date lodged: 6 October 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what checks are in place to ensure that land use balance in regions is prioritised for woodland expansion.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 26 October 2016
In addition, Forestry Commission Scotland published guidance in 2013 that requires specific measures to be taken when considering ‘larger or more sensitive’ woodland creation proposals on farmland. These measures include informing those managing neighbouring land of the proposal and requesting advice from the local Rural Payments and Inspections Division office on the local patterns of agriculture.
The Scottish Government, through planning policy, encourages planning authorities to prepare forestry and woodland strategies, in consultation with stakeholders, to inform the development of forests and woodlands in relation to other land uses within their area. In 2010, Forestry Commission Scotland published The Right Tree in the Right Place, providing guidance on the development of forestry and woodland strategies. These regional forestry and woodland strategies are used to inform the suitability of applications to the Scotland Rural Development Programme Forestry Grant Scheme.