In 2022, the RSE launched an inquiry into the benefits of public support for tree planting and forestry through planting grants, tax allowances and carbon payments.


A sign in front of a tree

Report calls for a radical rethink of tree planting in Scotland 

The RSE report looks at the environmental and social impacts of public subsidies for the forestry sector in Scotland. There are a series of recommendations for how public financial support for tree planting in Scotland can be reorganised to better serve Scotland’s people, environment, forestry industry, and public purse. 

RSE inquiry into public financial support for tree planting and forestry 2024 (4MB, PDF)


1. Scottish Government should discontinue subsidies for coniferous commercial tree planting.

2. In discontinuing these subsidies, Scottish Government should redirect the money that is saved towards tree planting that is designed to provide long term carbon sequestration, biodiversity and public benefits.

3. The UK Government should calculate and report on the total cost of tax reliefs for woodlands, stating the purpose of the reliefs and evaluating them in respect of their cost effectiveness in meeting those objectives.

4. Scottish Government should require and empower the Enterprise Agencies to use their resources – both skills and financial – to assist the Scottish timber industry in adding value to raw timber by supporting firms to develop and expand mass timber products.

5. Scottish Forestry should ensure that Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) pay careful attention to soil composition by ensuring that sampling is done on a sufficient scale across the whole site.

6. In order to implement the UK Forestry Standard statement on techniques “that create the minimum amount of soil disturbance” (e.g. screefing), Scottish Forestry should prohibit planting with mechanical disturbance on carbon-rich soils.

7. As outlined by the UKFS, Scottish Forestry should require mixed native broadleaf planting, shrub cover and open land to be interspersed throughout commercial monoculture planting.

8. Scottish Forestry should encourage and support natural regeneration for proposed establishment of mixed native woodland and include this in its grant support criteria within the Woodland Creation category.

9. Scottish Forestry should require that planting schemes include native planting and regeneration along watercourses.

10. Scottish Forestry should require schemes to consider how the spread of invasive tree seed to adjoining land (especially peatland) will be prevented. It should also require appropriate steps to be taken to reduce such spread and, where necessary, impose conditions to remove seedlings when it does occur.

11. Scottish Forestry should require that all planting proposals of 40 ha and above, or smaller applications adjoining existing woodland, submit an EIA.

12. Scottish Government should increase capacity in Scottish Forestry for independent scrutiny of planting applications, including an increased number of EIAs, and carry out compliance monitoring during and after planting to confirm adherence to the UKFS and specific conditions.

13. Scottish Forestry should consider providing guidance on the form and content of EIA submissions.

14. Scottish Forestry should provide targeted grants to Local Authorities to plant trees in existing urban locations.

15. Local Authorities should require all new built developments with road frontages to incorporate trees in the road or on their frontages.

16. Scottish Forestry should mandate adherence to the community engagement guidelines produced by the Scottish Land Commission for all proposed planting schemes.


Scotland leads the UK in tree planting and woodland creation is due to increase to 18,000 hectares annually by 2024/25

60% of new forests will produce wood for house building, fencing, paper and bio-fuel

Scotland’s trees sequester the equivalent of 14% of its annual greenhouse gas emissions

Many mechanisms incentivise and support tree planting, however the extent to which these and associated activity translate into tangible environmental, economic and community benefits is not always clear. This Inquiry seeks to evaluate the impact of public financial support for Scotland’s woodlands and commercial forestry, placing it in the context of wider considerations such as the climate-nature crisis and rural regeneration. To inform the Inquiry, the RSE is issuing a call for evidence from interested parties including agencies, researchers, farmers and rural landowners, the timber industry, community groups and charities with rural interests.

A final report will be produced next year. This will offer advice to guide decision-makers in administering current and future schemes to ensure that public benefits are maximised.

Consultation overview

The Inquiry is structured around a series of questions covering:

  • scope of benefits;
  • carbon sequestration;
  • biodiversity and environmental benefits;
  • community benefits; and
  • finance.

Scope of benefits

We consider that the desired public benefits from tree planting comprise timber production, carbon sequestration, biodiversity enhancement, recreation, water management and reduction in air pollution, together with economic and social community benefits. If you consider there to be other benefits, please provide evidence for them.

  1. If you consider there to be other benefits, please provide evidence for them.

We seek to establish the extent to which current practices are delivering these benefits, how far they represent good public value in the short and long term, and what more, if anything, could be done to improve public benefits in tackling the climate-nature crisis and the economic and social well-being of resident communities by tree planting, woodland and commercial forest management.

Carbon sequestration

  1. Scottish Government has set targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of 75% by 2030 and 100% by 2045 and placed commitments for woodland and commercial forestry expansion in this context. What evidence is there that current practices will ensure that all newly planted woodland will be a net sink over this period, taking account of both above- and below-ground carbon? What impact will the time lag for carbon capture of new plantings and the harvesting of previously planted commercial forestry have on meeting the targets?
  1. Are the current carbon sequestration requirements specified by the Woodland Carbon Code and UK Forestry Standard delivering their objectives?
  1. Are these requirements consistently applied?
  1. Is independent inspection to verify initial and continuing fulfilment of the Code and Standard satisfactory?
  1. Do you have evidence that offsetting payments are delivering carbon capture and other benefits in practice?

Biodiversity and environmental benefits

  1. Do you have evidence on the role tree species choice and composition have in influencing biodiversity, timber production, flood management, and other outcomes? Do the species of trees and the mix of species help, hinder or change the balance of the benefits being sought?
  1. Do you have evidence that planted woodland and commercial forestry impedes the balance between itself and the biodiversity value of other landscapes, habitats or other biodiversity interests?
  1. Do you have evidence that woodland and commercial forest design and creation practices support or hinder biodiversity benefits?
  1. To what extent are Environmental Impact Assessments carried out prior to design and planting?
  1. Do you have evidence that woodland and commercial forestry management practices support or hinder biodiversity?
  1. Are the sources of seed and new trees sufficient to meet national tree planting targets?
  1. Do you have evidence that large-scale planting on a regional level leads to negative impacts on biodiversity?
  1. Do you have evidence of any practices, good or bad, that you wish to highlight?

Community benefits

  1. Are there potential improvements that could be made to regulations and/or practice that could improve the recreational, employment or other community benefits of tree planting or commercial forestry schemes?
  1. Are local communities sufficiently involved in the development of tree planting or commercial forestry schemes?
  1. If not, what are the barriers and how might they be overcome; if they are, what works well?
  1. Do you have evidence of tree planting leading to quantifiable economic and social benefits, short and long term, for communities local to the planting?
  1. Do woodland and commercial forestry planting result in any disadvantages to communities local to the planting?
  1. To what extent does current financial support for tree planting enable planting in urban areas, including in streets/roadsides and other urban settings?
  1. Does Scotland have sufficiently skilled people to deliver/continue to deliver the desired benefits from woodland and commercial forestry? If not, what changes are needed?
  1. Do you have evidence of any conflicts between public financial support for tree planting and other land uses?
  1. Are there evidenced wider societal community benefits that arise from woodland and commercial forestry creation?  If there are, should these benefits be formally required or financially supported?


  1. Do you have evidence that the following forms of public financial support for tree planting provide good value for money:
  • Grants for tree planting?
  • Carbon offset and investment payments by government, charities or the private sector?
  • Tax allowances for land used for tree planting and commercial forests?
  • Farm payments applicable to land planted with woodland or commercial forest, e.g. Basic Payment Scheme?
  1. Do you have evidence that any of these payments have unintended results?
  1. Do you have evidence that the interaction of these payments has any public benefits or disbenefits?
  1. Do you have evidence that the structure of payments or allowances supports or hinders the public benefits?
  1. Do you have evidence of any impact on land values as a result of payments/allowances?
  1. Are the anticipated changes in farming support likely to have any impact upon woodland or commercial forestry creation?

This is a complex field and the questions above are not prescriptive. We should be pleased to learn of any other benefits, or disbenefits, you consider are brought about by public financial support for tree planting and commercial forestry in Scotland and if you consider that public financial support could be redesigned to provide greater benefits.


A public call for evidence was launched in October 2022 and ran for six weeks. Respondents were reached through a combination of targeted invitations and general promotion via newsletters, social media, and other communication channels. In total, the inquiry received 45 submissions from a range of academics, community interest groups, members of industry, public sector agencies, non-profits, sector representatives, and members of the public.

Respondents’ submissions are available below. Some submissions have been published anonymously at the request of the respondent. Two respondents did not want their response shared or referenced in any form, even anonymously. Three email submissions were sent via the inquiry webpage contact portal and were not accompanied by a formal respondent form; as a result, these responses have not been published as these individuals did not explicitly give their consent to have their responses shared.


Click to expand the references
  1. Addy, S., Cooksley, S., Dodd, N., Waylen, K., Stockan, J., Byg, A., & Holstead, K. (2016). River restoration and biodiversity: Nature-based solutions for restoring the rivers of the UK and Republic of Ireland. IUCN NCUK & CREW. Crew ref: 2014/10.
  2. Ares, E, Coe, E., & Uberoi, E. (2021). Tree planting in the UK. House of Commons Library Briefing paper number 9084. Retrieved from:
  3. Bellamy, C., Barsoum, N., Cottrell, J., & Watts, K. (2018). Encouraging biodiversity at multiple scales in support of resilient woodlands. Research Note – Forestry Commission, (033). Retrieved from:
  4. Bernthal, F.R., Armstrong, J.D., Nislow, K.H., & Metcalfe, N.B. (2022). Nutrient limitation in Atlantic salmon rivers and streams: Causes, consequences, and management strategies. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 32(6), 1073–1091.
  5. Broadmeadow, S.B., Jones, J.G., Langford, T.E.L., Shaw, P.J., & Nisbet, T.R. (2011). The influence of riparian shade on lowland stream water temperatures in southern England and their viability for brown trout. River Research and Applications, 27(2), 226–237.
  6. Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST). (2021). 9 sustainable innovations at BE@COP26. Retrieved from:
  7. Cabinet Working Party on Forest Policy. (1958). Draft Report, Forestry Commission Files F18/815. London: Public Record Office.
  8. Caissie, D. (2006). The thermal regime of rivers: A review. Freshwater Biology, 51(8), 1389–-1406.
  9. Carsphairn Community. (n.d.). Planning consultations and local development. Retrieved from:
  10. Casas, A., Riaño, D., Ustin, S.L., Dennison, P., & Salas, J. (2014). Estimation of water-related biochemical and biophysical vegetation properties using multitemporal airborne hyperspectral data and its comparison to MODIS spectral response. Remote Sensing of Environment, 148, 28–-41.
  11. CJC Consulting. (2015). The economic contribution of the forestry sector in Scotland. Retrieved from:
  12. Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act (asp 15). (2019). Retrieved from:
  13. Clyde Climate Forest. (n.d.). Urban trees. Retrieved from:
  14. Collen, P., Keay, E.J., & Morrison, B.R.S. (2004). Processing of pine (Pinus sylvestris) and birch (Betula pubescens) leaf material in a small river system in the northern Cairngorms, Scotland. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 8(3), 567–577.
  15. Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act (asp 6). (2015). Retrieved from:
  16. Construction Leadership Forum. (2023). Low carbon energy supply chain – detailed analysis. Retrieved from:
  17. Di Sacco, A., Hardwick, K.A., Blakesley, D., Brancalion, P.H., Breman, E., Cecilio Rebola, L., Chomba, S., Dixon, K., Elliott, S., Ruyonga, G., Shaw, K., Smith, P., Smith, R.J., & Antonelli, A. (2021). Ten golden rules for reforestation to optimize carbon sequestration, biodiversity recovery and livelihood benefits. Global Change Biology, 27(7), 1328–1348.
  18. Donovan, G.H., Prestemon, J.P., Gatziolis, D., Michael, Y.L., Kaminski, A.R., & Dadvand, P. (2022). The association between tree planting and mortality: A natural experiment and cost-benefit analysis. Environment International, 170, 107609.
  19. Douglas, D.J.T., Bellamy, P.E., Stephen, L.S., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Grant. M.C. (2014). Upland land use predicts population decline in a globally near-threatened wader. Journal of Applied Ecology. 51(1). 194–203.
  20. Elliott, J., & Elliott, J.A. (2010). Temperature requirements of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, brown trout Salmo trutta and Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus: predicting the effects of climate change. Journal of Fish Biology, 77(8), 1793–1817.
  21. European Commission. (2023). Water Framework Directive. Retrieved from:
  22. European Commission. (n.d.). Natura 2000. Retrieved from:
  23. Farquhar, J. (2022). Workforce issues in the forestry sector – A Scottish perspective. Forestry and Timber News, Feb 2022, 30–31.
  24. Forest Policy Group (FPG). (2022). Communities’ experiences of new forest planting applications in Scotland. Retrieved from:
  25. Forest Research. (2023a). Forestry statistics 2023. Chapter 1: Woodland area and planting in the United Kingdom. Retrieved from:
  26. Forest Research. (2023b). Forestry statistics 2023. Chapter 9: International forestry. Retrieved from:
  27. Forest Research. (2023c). Forestry statistics 2023. Chapter 8: Finance & prices. Retrieved from:
  28. Forest Research. (2023d). Forestry statistics 2023. Chapter 3: Trade. Retrieved from:
  29. Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act (asp 8). (2018). Retrieved from:
  30. Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS). (2009). The Scottish Government’s policy on control of woodland removal. Forestry Commission Scotland: Edinburgh. Retrieved from:
  31. Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS). (2010). The right tree in the right place: Planning for Forestry and Woodlands. Edinburgh: Forestry Commission Scotland. Retrieved from:
  32. Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS). (2015). Managing invasive and non-native forestry species. Edinburgh: Forestry Commission Scotland. Retrieved from:
  33. Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS). (n.d.). Forestry consultation procedures. Retrieved from:
  34. Forestry (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations (SI 2017/113). (2017). Retrieved from:
  35. Friends of the Earth. (2022). Why we need more trees in the UK. Retrieved from:
  36. Friggens, N.L., Hester, A.J., Mitchell, R.J., Parker, T.C., Subke, J.A., & Wookey, P.A. (2020). Tree planting in organic soils does not result in net carbon sequestration on decadal timescales. Global Change Biology, 26(9), 5178–5188.
  37. Gamfeldt, L., Snäll, T., Bagchi, R., Jonsson, M., Gustafsson, L., Kjellander, P., Ruiz-Jain, M.C., Fröberg, M., Stendahl, J., Philipson, C.D., Mikusiński, G., Andersson, E., Westerlund, B., Andrén, H., Moberg, F., Moen, J., & Bengtsson, J. (2013). Higher levels of multiple ecosystem services are found in forests with more tree species. Nature Communications, 4, 1340.
  38. Graça, M.A., & Cressa, C. (2010). Leaf quality of some tropical and temperate tree species as food resource for stream shredders. International Review of Hydrobiology, 95(1), 27–41.
  39. Gullett, P.R., Leslie, C., Mason, R., Ratcliffe, P., Sargent, I., Beck, A., … & Moat, T. (2023). Woodland expansion in the presence of deer: 30 years of evidence from the Cairngorms Connect landscape restoration partnership. Journal of Applied Ecology, 60((11), 2298–2308.–2664.14501
  40. Gurney, W.S., Bacon, P.J., Tyldesley, G., & Youngson, A.F. (2008). Process-based modelling of decadal trends in growth, survival, and smolting of wild salmon (Salmo salar) parr in a Scottish upland stream. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 65(12), 2606–2622.
  41. Hannah, D.M., & Garner, G. (2015). River water temperature in the United Kingdom: Changes over the 20th century and possible changes over the 21st century. Progress in Physical Geography, 39(1), 68–92.
  42. Harris, E. (2020). Biodiversity, forestry and wood: An analysis of the biodiversity benefits of modern forestry and wood production. Confor Special Report. Confor. Retrieved from:
  43. Haugh, J. (2023). Spruce-killing Ips typographus discovered in Scotland. Retrieved from:
  44. Hua, F., Bruijnzeel, L.A., Meli, P., Martin, P.A., Zhang, J., Nakagawa, S., Miao, X., Wang, W., McEvoy, C., Peña-Arancibio, J.L., Brancalion, P.H.S., Smith, P., Edwards, D.P., & Balmford, A. (2022). The biodiversity and ecosystem service contributions and trade-offs of forest restoration approaches. Science, 376(6595), 839–844.
  45. Humphrey, J.W., Watts, K., Fuentes-Montemayor, E., Macgregor, N.A., Peace, A.J., & Park, K.J. (2015). What can studies of woodland fragmentation and creation tell us about ecological networks? A literature review and synthesis. Landscape Ecology, 30(1), 21–50.
  46. Inoue, M., Shinotou, S. I., Maruo, Y., & Miyake, Y. (2012). Input, retention, and invertebrate colonization of allochthonous litter in streams bordered by deciduous broadleaved forest, a conifer plantation, and a clear-cut site in southwestern Japan. Limnology, 13, 207–219.
  47. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). (2020). Bonn Challenge. Retrieved from:
  48. James Hutton Institute. (2022). Understanding the impact of scale and concentration of landownership: Community perspectives from the south of Scotland. Retrieved from:
  49. Jonsson, B., & Jonsson, N. (2009). A review of the likely effects of climate change on anadromous Atlantic salmon Salmo salar and brown trout Salmo trutta, with particular reference to water temperature and flow. Journal of Fish Biology, 75(10), 2381–2447.
  50. Konijnendijk, C.C. (2022). Evidence-based guidelines for greener, healthier, more resilient neighbourhoods: Introducing the 3-30-300 rule. Journal of Forestry Research, 34, 821–830.
  51. Land Reform (Scotland) Act (asp 2). (2003). Retrieved from:
  52. Land Reform (Scotland) Act (asp 18). (2016). Retrieved from:
  53. Liu, J., & Slik, F. (2022). Are street trees friendly to biodiversity? Landscape and Urban Planning, 218, 104304.
  54. Márquez, J.A., Principe, R.E., Cibils Martina, L., & Albariño, R.J. (2017). Pine needle litter acts as habitat but not as food source for stream invertebrates. International Review of Hydrobiology, 102(1–2), 29–37.
  55. Marselle, M.R., Bowler, D.E., Watzema, J., Eichenberg, D., Kirsten, T., & Bonn, A. (2020). Urban street tree biodiversity and antidepressant prescriptions. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 22445.
  56. Martin, M.P, Woodbury, D.J, Doroski, D.A, Nagele, E., Storace, M., Cook-Patton, S.C., Pasternack, R., & Ashton, M. (2021). People plant trees for utility more often than for biodiversity or carbon. Biological Conservation, 261, 109224.
  57. Martínez, A., Larrañaga, A., Pérez, J., Basaguren, A., & Pozo, J. (2013). Leaf-litter quality effects on stream ecosystem functioning: A comparison among five species. Fundamental and Applied Limnology, 183(3), 239–248.
  58. Martínez‐Vilalta, J., Sala, A., Asensio, D., Galiano, L., Hoch, G., Palacio, S., Piper, F.I., & Lloret, F. (2016). Dynamics of non‐structural carbohydrates in terrestrial plants: a global synthesis. Ecological Monographs, 86(4), 495-516.
  59. Mass Timber Institute. (n.d.). Mass timber FAQ. Retrieved from:
  60. Matthews, K.B., Wardell-Johnson, D., Miller, D., Fitton, N., Jones, E., Bathgate, S., Randle, T., Matthews, R., Smith, P., & Perks, M. (2020). Not seeing the carbon for the trees? Why area-based targets for establishing new woodlands can limit or underplay their climate change mitigation benefits. Land Use Policy, 97, 104690.
  61. Matthews, R., Henshall, P., Beauchamp, K., Gruffudd, H., Hogan, G., Mackie, E., Sayce, M., & Morison, J. (2022). Quantifying the Sustainable Forestry Carbon Cycle, Summary Report. Farnham: Forest Research. Retrieved from:
  62. McCarthy, M., Christidis, N., Dunstone, N., Fereday, D., Kay, G., Klein‐Tank, A., Lowe, J., Petch, J., Scaife, A., & Stott, P. (2019). Drivers of the UK summer heatwave of 2018. Weather, 74(11), 390-396.
  63. McCullough, D., Spalding, S., Sturdevant, D., & Hicks, M. (2001). Summary of technical literature examining the physiological effects of temperature. Technical Issue Paper 5. Seattle: EPA Pacific Northwest Regional Office.
  64. Merrell, I., Pate, L., Glendinning, J., & Thomson S. (2023). Rural Land Market Insights Report 2023. A report commissioned by the Scottish Land Commission. Retrieved from:
  65. Mitchell, R. J., Bellamy, P. E., Broome, A., Ellis, C. J., Hewison, R. L., Iason, G. R., Littlewood, N.A., Newey, S., Pozsgai, G., Ray, D., Stockan, J.A., Stokes, V.,  & Taylor, A. F. (2022). Cumulative impact assessments of multiple host species loss from plant diseases show disproportionate reductions in associated biodiversity. Journal of Ecology, 110(1), 221–231.
  66. National Forest Inventory. (2020). Provisional estimates of the ownership type and property type of woodlands in Britain. Retrieved from:
  67. NatureScot. (2021). Scotland’s biodiversity progress to 2020 Aichi targets – Final Report. Retrieved from:
  68. NatureScot. (2022). An official statistics publication for Scotland – Scottish terrestrial breeding birds 1994–2021. Retrieved from:
  69. NatureScot. (n.d.a). Wee Forests: Part of the TinyForest Global Family. Retrieved from:
  70. Newton, I., & Moss, D. (1981). Factors affecting the breeding of Sparrowhawks and the occurrence of their songbird prey in woodlands. In F.T. Last & A.S. Gardiner (Eds). Forest and woodland ecology (pp125–131. Cambridge: Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.
  71. Newton, I. (2020). Uplands and birds (Collins New Naturalist Library). London: HarperCollins UK.
  72. Nisbet, T.R., & Evans, C.D. (2014). Forestry and surface water acidification. Forestry Commission. Retrieved from:
  73. Nowak, D.J., Crane, D.E., & Stevens, J.C. (2006). Air pollution removal by urban trees and shrubs in the United States. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 4(3-4), 115-123.
  74. Nuñez, M.A., Chiuffo, M.C., Torres A., Paul T., Dimarco R.D., Raal P., Policelli, N., Moyano, J., Garcίa, A., van Wilgen, B.W., Pauchard, A., & Richardson, D.M. (2017). Ecology and management of invasive Pinaceae around the world: Progress and challenges. Biological Invasions, 19, 3099–3120.
  75. Office of Tax Simplification (OTS). (2011). Review of tax reliefs – Final report. Retrieved from:
  76. Oosthoek, J. (2013). Conquering the Highlands: A history of the afforestation of the Scottish uplands. Canberra: ANU Press.
  77. Ovenden, T.S., Perks, M.P., Forrester, D.I., Mencuccini, M., Rhoades, J., Thompson, D.L., Stokes, V.J., & Jump, A.S. (2022). Intimate mixtures of Scots pine and Sitka spruce do not increase resilience to spring drought. Forest Ecology and Management, 521, 120448.
  78. Pálsdóttir, A.E., Gill, J.A., Alves, J.A., Pálsson, S., Méndez, V., Ewing, H., & Gunnarsson, T.G. (2022). Subarctic afforestation: Effects of forest plantations on ground‐nesting birds in lowland Iceland. Journal of Applied Ecology, 59(10), 2456–2467.
  79. Pandit, R., Polyakov, M., Tapsuwan, S., & Moran, T. (2013). The effect of street trees on property value in Perth, Western Australia. Landscape and Urban Planning, 110, 134–142.
  80. Pataki, D.E., Alberti, M., Cadenasso, M.L., Felson, A.J., McDonnell, M.J., Pincetl, S., Pouyat, R.V., Setälä, H., & Whitlow, T. H. (2021). The benefits and limits of urban tree planting for environmental and human health. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9, 603757.
  81. Piotrowska, M.J., Riddell, C., Hoebe, P.N., & Ennos, R.A. (2018). Planting exotic relatives has increased the threat posed by Dothistroma septosporum to the Caledonian pine populations of Scotland. Evolutionary Applications,11(3), 350–363.
  82. Policelli, N., Hoeksema, J.D., Moyano, J., Vilgalys, R., Vivelo, S., Bhatnagar, J.M. (2022). Global pine trees invasions are linked to invasive root symbionts. New Phytologist. 237(1). 16–21.
  83. Principe, R.E., Márquez, J.A., Martina, L.C., Jobbágy, E.G., & Albariño, R.J. (2015). Pine afforestation changes more strongly community structure than ecosystem functioning in grassland mountain streams. Ecological Indicators, 57, 366-375.
  84. Ratcliffe, D.A. (1980) Forestry in relation to nature conservation. (Minutes of evidence, House of Lords Select Committee on Science & Technology, Sub-Committee I – Forestry. London: HMSO.
  85. Ratcliffe, D.A. (2007). Galloway and the Borders. Collins, London.
  86. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). (2023). Valuation of woodlands and forests – UK and Ireland (2nd edition, March 2023). Retrieved from:
  87. Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). (2023). The cost of living: Impact on rural communities in Scotland, Advice paper 23-1. Retrieved from:
  88. Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). (n.d.). Public support for tree planting and forestry. Retrieved from:
  89. Savills. (2023). The Forestry market. Retrieved from:—other/spotlight-forestry-market-2023.pdf
  90. Scotland Act (c.46). (1998). UK Public General Acts. Retrieved from:
  91. Scottish Affairs Committee. (2014). Oral evidence: Land reform in Scotland, HC 877-V. Retrieved from:
  92. Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI). (2019). An economy for all of Scotland – Harnessing our potential for everyone, everywhere. Retrieved from:
  93. Scottish Forestry. (2023). Boosting tree planting around rivers and streams. Retrieved from:
  94. Scottish Forestry. (n.d.a). Strategic timber transport scheme. Retrieved from:
  95. Scottish Forestry. (n.d.b). Forestry’s economic contribution. Retrieved from:
  96. Scottish Forestry. (n.d.d). Woods in and around town. Retrieved from:
  97. Scottish Forestry. (n.d.e). Environmental impact assessment. Retrieved from:
  98. Scottish Forestry. (n.d.f). Forestry grant scheme. Retrieved from:
  99. Scottish Government. (2019a). Scotland’s forestry strategy 2019–2029. Retrieved from:
  100. Scottish Government. (2019b). Climate ready Scotland: Climate change adaptation programme 2019–2024. Retrieved from:
  101. Scottish Government. (2020). The environment strategy for Scotland: Vision and outcomes. Retrieved from:
  102. Scottish Government. (2021a). Scotland’s third land use strategy 2021–2026 – Getting the best from our land. Retrieved from:
  103. Scottish Government. (2021b). Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party: Draft shared policy programme. Retrieved from:
  104. Scottish Government. (2021c). Rural Scotland key facts 2021. Retrieved from:
  105. Scottish Government. (2021d). Poverty in rural Scotland – Evidence review. Retrieved from:
  106. Scottish Government. (2022a). Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement 2022. Retrieved from:
  107. Scottish Government. (2022b). Scottish biodiversity strategy to 2045: Tackling the nature emergency – draft. Retrieved from:
  108. Scottish Government. (2022c). Scotland’s forestry strategy implementation plan 2022–2025. Retrieved from:
  109. Scottish Government. (2022d). Ambitious proposals for land reform. Retrieved from:
  110. Scottish Government. (2022e). Big ambitions for wee forests. Retrieved from:
  111. Scottish Government. (2023a). National planning framework 4. Retrieved from:
  112. Scottish Government. (2023b). National performance framework. Retrieved from:
  113. Scottish Government. (2023e).Scottish Budget: 2024 to 2025. Retrieved from:
  114. Scottish Land Commission (SLC). (2023). Community engagement in decisions relating to land. Retrieved from:
  115. Scottish Parliament. (2023). Proposed Land Ownership and Public Interest (Scotland) Bill. Retrieved from:
  116. Scridel, D., Groom, J.D., & Douglas, D.J.T. (2017). Native woodland creation is associated with increase in Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix population. Bird Study, 64(1). 70–83.
  117. Semizer-Cuming, D., Finkeldey, R., Nielsen, L.R., & Kjær, E. D. (2019) Negative correlation between ash dieback susceptibility and reproductive success: good news for European ash forests. Annals of Forest Science 76(1), 1–9.
  118. Sing, L., Metzger, M.J., Paterson, J.S., & Ray, D. (2018). A review of the effects of forest management intensity on ecosystem services for northern European temperate forests with a focus on the UK. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, 91(2), 151–164.
  119. Smith, P., Powlson, D.S., Smith, J.U., Falloon, P.D., & Coleman, K. (2000). Meeting Europe’s climate change commitments: Quantitative estimates of the potential for carbon mitigation by agriculture. Global Change Biology, 6, 525–539.
  120. Smith, P. (2004). Soils as carbon sinks – the global context. Soil Use and Management, 20, 212–218.
  121. Smout, T.C., MacDonald, R., & Watson, F. (2007). A history of the native woodlands of Scotland 1500–1920. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  122. Stroud, D.A., Reed, T., Pienkowski, M., & Lindsay, R. (1987). Birds, bogs and forestry. The peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland. Peterborough: Nature Conservancy Council.
  123. Stroud, D., Reed, T., Pienkowski, M., & Lindsay, R. (2015). The Flow Country: Battles fought, war won, organisation lost. In D. Thompson, H Birks, & J. Birks (Eds), Nature’s conscience: The life and legacy of Derek Ratcliffe (pp. 401–439). Norfolk, UK: Langford Press.
  124. Strutt & Parker. (2023). Scottish farmland market review – Spring 2023. Retrieved from:
  125. Sturrock, R.N., Frankel, S.J., Brown, A.V., Hennon, P.E., Kliejunas, J.T., Lewis, K.J., Worrall, J.J., & Woods, A.J. (2011). Climate change and forest diseases. USDA Forest Service / UNL Faculty Publications. Retrieved from:
  126. Summers, R.W. (2018). Foraging patterns of common crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) on spruces (Picea spp.) in Scotland. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, 91(4), 444–450.
  127. Summers, R.W., & Cavers, S. (2021). The past, present and uncertain future for caledonian pinewoods. Scottish Forestry, 75, 19–28.
  128. Tew, E.R., Ambrose-Oji, B., Beatty M., Büntgen, U., Butterworth, H., Clover, G., Cook, D., Dauksta, D., Day, W., Deakin, J., Field, A., Gardiner, B., Harrop, P., Healey, J.R., Heaton, R., Hemery, G., Hill, L., Hughes, O., Khaira-Cresswell, P.K., & Sutherland, W.J. (2023). A horizon scan of issues affecting UK forest management within 50 years, Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, cpad047.
  129. The City of Edinburgh Council. (2023). One million tree city. Retrieved from:
  130. The Glasgow and Clyde Valley Network Partnership (TGCVNP). (2019). Clyde climate forest. Retrieved from:
  131. The Herald (2023, 30 November). Forestry: Growing pains: Why Scotland faces running out of timber… with serious consequences, not least for our 2045 net zero ambitions. Retrieved from:
  132. The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF). (2023). Scottish land fund. Retrieved from:
  133. Thomas, S.M., Griffiths, S.W., & Ormerod, S.J. (2016). Beyond cool: Adapting upland streams for climate change using riparian woodlands. Global Change Biology, 22(1), 310–324.
  134. Thompson, I., Mackey, B., McNulty, S., & Mosseler, A. (2009). Forest resilience, biodiversity, and climate change. A synthesis of the biodiversity/resilience/stability relationship in forest ecosystems. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal. Technical Series no. 43, 67.
  135. Tillhill & Goldcrest. (2022). The UK Forest Market Report 2022. Retrieved from:
  136. Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act. (c. 8) (1997). Retrieved from:
  137. UK Government. (2023a). Complying with the biodiversity duty. Retrieved from:
  138. UK Government. (2023b). Thousands of trees to be planted in communities in boost to nature, health and wellbeing. Retrieved from:
  139. UKCOP26. (2021). Glasgow leaders’ declaration on forests and land use. Retrieved from:
  140. UK Forestry Standard (UKFS). (2023). The governments’ approach to sustainable forest management. Retrieved from:
  141. UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act (asp 4). (2021). Retrieved from:
  142. United Nations (1992). United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Retrieved from:
  143. United Nations (1998). Kyoto protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Retrieved from:
  144. United Nations (2015). The Paris Agreement. Retrieved from:
  145. United Nations. (2023). Sustainable development goals. Retrieved from:
  146. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). (2010). 2010 Biodiversity target. Retrieved from:
  147. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). (2012). Green carbon, black trade: illegal logging, tax fraud and laundering in the world’s tropical forests. Retrieved from:
  148. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). (2020). Aichi biodiversity targets. Retrieved from:
  149. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). (2022). Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Part Two). Retrieved from:
  150. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). (2023). The Convention on Biological Diversity. Retrieved from:
  151. Vaz Monteiro, M., Handley, P., Morison, J.I., & Doick, K.J. (2019). The role of urban trees and greenspaces in reducing urban air temperatures (Research note FCRN037). Farnham: Forest Research. Retrieved from:
  152. Waring, B., Neumann, M., Prentice, I.C., Adams, M., Smith, P., & Siegert, M. (2020). Forests and decarbonization – Roles of new and old forests. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 3(58).
  153. Watts, S.H., & Jump, A.S. (2022). The benefits of mountain woodland restoration. Restoration Ecology, 30(8), e13701.
  154. Webb, B.W., Hannah, D.M., Moore, R.D., Brown, L.E., & Nobilis, F. (2008). Recent advances in stream and river temperature research. Hydrological Processes: An International Journal, 22(7), 902–918.
  155. Wells, G., Pascual, U., Stephenson, C., & Ryan, C.M. (2023). Confronting deep uncertainty in the forest carbon industry. Science, 382(6666), 41–43.
  156. Wilson, J.D., Anderson, R., Bailey, S., Chetcuti, J., Cowie, N.R., Hancock, M.H.,  Quine, C.P., Russell, N., Stephen, L., & Thompson, D.B. (2014). Modelling edge effects of mature forest plantations on peatland waders informs landscape‐scale conservation. Journal of Applied Ecology, 51(1), 204–213.
  157. Woodland Carbon Code. (2022). Requirements for voluntary carbon sequestration projects, version 2. Retrieved from:
  158. Wylder B., Biddle, M., King, K., Baden, R., Webber, J. (2018). Evidence from mortality dating of Fraxinus excelsior indicates ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) was active in England in 2004–2005. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, 91(4), 434–443.
  159. Yang, A. (2020). The multiple roles of Scottish woodlands, SPICe Briefing 20-58. Retrieved from:
  160. Zuckerman, S. (1957). Forestry, agriculture, and marginal land – A report by the Natural Resources (Technical) Committee. London: HMSO.


Secretariat, Woodland Ecologist
Secretariat, RSE Policy Manager


If you have any questions about the inquiry or want to get in touch, please send us an email on [email protected] or use the box provided:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.