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Woodland creation study

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By Fiona Reid
Woodland creation study

A SERIES of potential options have been identified which aim to help increase the benefits for communities from new woodlands created in the South of Scotland.

A new study, commissioned by South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) and Scottish Forestry, spoke to a range of interested stakeholders with different perspectives who proposed a number of potential opportunities, which will now be considered by both organisations.

Forestry is one of the most significant sectors in the South of Scotland, being valued at a third of a billion pounds for the local economy per year.

Ideas to be explored included:

n The co-design of new planting projects with communities

n Creation of more farm and small scale woodlands

n Introduction of community benefit funds and other mechanisms to provide benefits

n Ensuring new woodlands help create local jobs, skills and enterprise.

Around a third of new woodlands in Scotland are created in the South, so it will have a key role in helping to support Scotland’s ambitious woodland creation targets

The report’s findings included suggestions for national and regional approaches that may enable and support the delivery of a range of community benefits.

Professor Russel Griggs, chair of SOSE, said: “Our region plays an important role in delivering the national targets for woodland creation, to help meet climate change commitments, deliver for biodiversity, ensure a sustainable supply of timber and support people’s health and well-being.

“We want to build on the range of social, economic and environmental benefits that woodland creation is already delivering and explore how it can deliver better benefit for our communities.

“By working with our partners at Scottish Forestry, alongside interest groups and communities, I am confident we can achieve this ambition.”

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