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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-11735: Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 3 October 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what (a) advice and (b) guidance regarding protecting the nesting habitat of curlews (i) it and (ii) Forestry Commission Scotland provides to land managers seeking to establish new forestry, and how it ensures that this is adhered to.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 24 October 2017

Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) is the Scottish Government’s forestry advisor and regulator and as such provides advice and guidance to land managers seeking to establish new forestry.

FCS recognises the importance of protecting the nesting habitat of curlew and the potential impact that new forestry may have, and is in the process of raising the profile of this species with all the FCS regional offices.

FCS provides generic guidance to land managers seeking to establish new forestry on safeguarding protected bird species, and this guidance applies to nesting curlew.

The majority of woodland creation projects apply for financial support under the Forestry Grant Scheme. The scheme’s application process requires surveys and environmental information to be submitted where vulnerable species such as curlew are present or may be affected. In these cases FCS advises the landowner to seek advice from SNH and RSPB and to modify the planting scheme as appropriate.