Delivering for Scotland #71: Woodland Creation
Forests and woodlands are a natural powerhouse and among Scotland’s most valuable rural assets. It is the SNP’s ambition for them to expand and flourish.
Over 80% of all new woodland creation across the UK in 2019-20 was in Scotland. The SNP Scottish Government smashed its yearly 10,000 hectare national tree planting target, with 11,200 hectares of new woodland planted in a year – around 22 million trees.
Growing our forests is key to tackling the climate emergency we are facing. Currently around 12 million tonnes of CO2 are absorbed by Scotland’s forests every year, and increasing the size of our forests and woodlands means we can store even more greenhouse gases.
And as part of its climate change commitments, the SNP has increased planting targets for the future, rising to 15,000 hectares each year by 2025. This boost will not only help us capture more CO2 emissions but will strengthen the economy too.
Scotland’s forest industry contributes over £1 billion each year to our economy, supporting around 25,000 jobs, and has the full support of the SNP Scottish Government. This is demonstrated through the National Forestry Strategy and backed up with £20 million investment to plant trees in Scotland’s national forests.
The SNP in government is also supporting woodland creation and improvement through the Forestry Grant Scheme. In particular, the SNP will support the planting of woodland which can help prevent flooding and assist in water basin management.