11 Apr 2019

Rural Economy Secretary welcomes Confor calls for increase to planting targets

Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing today welcomed Confor’s 'Think Global, Plant Local' campaign, which demonstrates the forest and woodland sector’s support for the shared national endeavour to increase woodland creation levels in Scotland.

The UK-wide campaign calls for the planting target in Scotland to 18,000ha by 2030 as part of a drive to “start making a real impact on the damaging effects of climate change".

The Scottish Government has already planned to increase the planting targets in Scotland to 12,000ha per year from 2021/22 to 14,000ha in 2022/23 and reaching 15,000ha from 2024/25.

Mr Ewing said;

“I welcome this industry support for increased levels of tree planting in Scotland.

“Scotland’s new Forestry Strategy (1 April 2019) identifies as a priority for action over the next ten years the expansion of forest and woodland area, integrated with other land use objectives.

“This will help to further reduce Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions, drive sustainable economic growth in the forestry and other land-use sectors, enhance Scotland’s biodiversity and increase the positive contribution of urban forests and woodland’s in Scotland’s towns and cities.

“We are already leading the UK in tree planting – and have already committed to furthering this success.

“I look forward to working with the forestry and land-use sectors to identify opportunities for further cooperation in achieving these ambitious goals.”

Confor’s campaign calls for an annual planting target of 40,000ha per year by 2030, with 18,000 hectares of new planting in Scotland, 10,000 hectares in England, 9,000 in Wales and 3,000 in Northern Ireland (all by 2030).  

Notes to editors

  1. On 1st April 2019, the devolution of forestry to Scottish Ministers was completed. With the new arrangements, Forestry Commission Scotland was replaced by a new Scottish Government agency called Scottish Forestry.
  2. Scottish Forestry is responsible for delivering Scottish Ministers’ forestry policy, regulation, grants incentives, technical forestry advice and new cross border arrangements.
  3. www.forestry.gov.scot | www.twitter.com/ScotForestry
  4. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Senior Media Manager, Scottish Forestry Media Office 0131 370 5065 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.