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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09194: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 10 May 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-08819 by Roseanna Cunningham on 2 May 2017, how the tree growth and soil data are applied to strategically inform new planting proposals and permissions to ensure that the right tree is planted, in the right place, in order to optimise carbon sequestration, and by whom.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 23 May 2017

Scottish Local Authorities publish regional forestry and woodland strategies which identify suitable areas for woodland expansion to ensure that the right tree is planted in the right place for the right reason. These strategies promote the multiple benefits of woodland creation including improving biodiversity and the production of sustainable timber products, as well as carbon sequestration.

These strategies are based on a range of data including soil and tree growth information such as the Land Capability for Forestry data set. This provides information on potential tree growth for a specific site based on a number of factors including soil, climate and topography. This data set is available on the Scotland’s Soils website at www.soils.environment.gov.scot/maps/.

Applications for woodland creation under the Scottish Rural Development Programme Forestry Grant Scheme are assessed by Forestry Commission Scotland against the relevant regional forestry and woodland strategy and UK Forestry Standard (UKFS). The UKFS climate change guideline includes a requirement that new woodland creation should contribute to mitigating the impacts of climate change through carbon sequestration over the long term.