The Scottish Government body that’s responsible for managing Scotland’s national forests and land will plant 25 million new trees by the end of 2022.
The ambitious project will see Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) plant five trees for every person living in Scotland and looks set to boost the Scottish economy.
The massive tree planting effort will include native species such as birch, oak, aspen, rowan and commercial conifers such as Scots pine and Sitka spruce.
The programme will also be supplemented with measures to protect the trees from browsing damage from deer.
This will include the maintenance of 2,500km of deer fencing – enough to stretch from Edinburgh to Berlin and back.
Around 30,000 deer will be culled over the period, 10,000 fewer than normal due to the impact of coronavirus.
The pandemic has also affected the venison market, so this year’s reduced FLS cull will only generate approximately £1 million for the public purse in Scotland, while demand in both the UK and overseas, recovers.
Doug Knox, head of the FLS technical services group, said: “The effective management of the forests and land that we look after supports and sustains communities in rural Scotland and conserves and enhances our natural environment for future generations. Our ambitious tree-planting programmes will create new conifer and broad-leaved forests which will then act as the carbon sinks of the future and be of benefit to biodiversity and Scotland’s economy.
“But realising these benefits involves protecting those forests and giving them their best chance of reaching maturity and part of that involves managing deer numbers.
“It is a constant challenge for all land managers, but efforts to control deer numbers are vital to protect sensitive environments, commercial forestry and agricultural crops.”
In 2021 FLS will harvest around nine million trees generating £410 million in gross value added for the Scottish economy.