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Forestry and Land Scotland to plant 25 million trees

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) has pledged to plant five new trees for every person living in Scotland by 2022. 

It is hoped that by planting 25 million new trees that it will help to create forests for the future and also contribute to Scotland’s climate change targets.

The tree planting will focus on native species such as Birk, Oak, Aspen and Rowan.

For the first six years of growth, the newly planted trees are extremely vulnerable to damage from deer, sheep and goats. In a bid to tackle this, the tree planting will be supplemented by an extensive effort to protect the trees any damage.

This will involve maintaining 2,500 kilometres of deer fencing – and culling 30,000 deer.

In conjunction with their tree planting efforts, FLS has also said that they will harvest nine million trees in 2021, this wood will be used in products such as timber-frames, wooden pallets and biomass fuel and according to the group it will add £410m in gross value to the Scottish economy

Doug Knox, FLS head of technical services group said: ‘Effective management of the forests and land that we look after, supports and sustains communities in rural Scotland and conserves and enhances our natural environment for future generations.

‘Our ambitious tree planting programmes will create new conifer and broadleaved forests that will act as the carbon sinks of the future, benefitting the Climate Emergency effort, biodiversity, and Scotland’s economy.

‘But realising these benefits involves protecting those forests and giving them their best chance of reaching maturity and part of that involves managing deer numbers.

‘It is a constant challenge for all land managers but efforts to control deer numbers are vital to protect sensitive environments, commercial forestry and agricultural crops and to mitigate climate change.

‘We constantly monitor deer populations across the land that we manage to ensure that we can meet our wider objectives and maintain a diverse and thriving forest environment.

‘That environment will always include deer but at population levels, the land can comfortably sustain, without suffering damage.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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