Managing Woodland Access and Forest Operations in Scotland

Managing Woodland Access and Forest Operations in Scotland

Practice Note 104 provides guidance to help landowners, forest managers, access authorities, recreation bodies, forestry practitioners and operators to manage woodland access and forest operations in Scotland.

Forests and woodlands bring wide-ranging and diverse benefits to people in Scotland. They are ideal places for people of all ages to participate in leisure, recreation and sports. However, forests are also workplaces. Forestry is an important part of the rural economy, and the production of timber provides revenue for landowners and jobs for the forestry sector and related businesses. Harvesting and haulage operations have been expanding over the past few years, as the forests that were established last century reach maturity, and so the need to balance woodland access with the need for safety during forest operations has never been more important. This is both to comply with health and safety legislation and fulfil land access obligations. Managing woodland access and forest operations is a pragmatic and practical process, involving land managers and access authorities, so that forest operations can take place safely, with minimal disruption to public access and recreational users. This Practice Note sets out clear steps to achieve this aim, including advice on early engagement with stakeholders and careful planning of operations. It is aimed at landowners and managers, forestry practitioners and operators, access authorities and recreation bodies.

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