258 hectares of woodland were created in 2018-19, less than was expected against the overall target. Of this figure 92 hectares were non-native and 166 hectares native (which includes natural regeneration).
Much of the year’s progress has been in laying the groundwork for an increased rate of woodland creation in future years. In 2019 the National Park Authority produced a new Trees and Woodlands Strategy through detailed discussion with partners and it will drive forward the delivery of expanding and enhancing woodlands and forests. Analysis undertaken as part of the Strategy, illustrated in the map below, indicates that there are more than 23,000ha in preferred areas for creating native woodland and a further 38,000ha of potential areas.
During the 2018-19 year the Park Authority were also involved in the development of eight new woodland proposals that will likely deliver around 600ha in subsequent years, and we created a new small-scale planting grant scheme. In addition, two detailed woodland creation proposals were developed for delivery in 2018-19 which weren’t taken forward due to land management constraints. With this in mind the National Park Authority has partnered with the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes to help us better understand and overcome such constraints as part of a dedicated piece of research which will be carried out next year. Nonetheless we see the year’s findings as a further call to action; we recognise that the target is ambitious and more determined action is needed.
Please note that the total 2018-19 figure is not exhaustive; the National Park Authority believe it to be the majority of woodland creation and sufficient for the purposes of this Review. As with the Scotland-wide figure we drew on two key sources for information, Scottish Forestry and Forestry and Land Scotland. A small amount of additional planting was also identified through Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening. In future years the National Park Authority will continue to check as broadly as possible and always report from the two sources used at a national level.
Progress on this indicator contributes to the following National Outcomes:
Progress on this indicator contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals: