Deciding Future Management Options for Afforested Deep Peatland

Deciding Future Management Options for Afforested Deep Peatland

This guide explains the factors to consider when seeking felling approval from us for forestry on a peatland habitat.

The Scottish Government has an ambitious climate change programme which recognises that peatlands and forests are key elements in both minimising further greenhouse gas emissions and absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Fast-growing woodland, or undamaged or well-restored peatland, can act as a carbon sink, but if peatlands altered by tree planting are not managed appropriately then they can release greenhouse gases.

Whenever trees are felled there is a presumption, supported by legislation, in favour of restocking. However, for woodland on deep peats, the greenhouse gas and wider environmental implications of future management are more significant than on other sites. For this reason, Scottish Forestry are likely to support applications for felling without conventional restocking on peatland sites that are less suitable for second rotation forestry or where there is a clear benefit of restoration.

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