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Off-Cuts – FWN 35 – Autumn 2020

15 October 2020

Up to £1,000 funding available for specialist advice on woodland creation

The Scottish Government has lifted requirements to complete an Integrated Land Management Plan (ILMP) prior to accessing funding support for woodland creation. Scottish farmers and crofters can now apply for up to £1,000 funding through the Farm Advisory Service, to enlist the help of a specialist adviser to help with woodland creation. The adviser will work with the land manager to add value to underproductive land by reviewing farm-specific opportunities and financial incentives available to create or manage woodland. This includes identifying the most suitable grants and assistance packages that farmers and crofters can use to optimise the use and value of their land.

To apply or for more information, call 0300 323 0161 or email


Scientist appointed as Scotland’s new Chief ForesterA photo of Dr Helen McKay OBE who has recently been appointed as Scotland's new Chief Forester (Autumn 2020)

Dr Helen MacKay OBE has become Scotland’s Chief Forester, a role created when forestry became fully devolved in Scotland last year.

Dr MacKay, who has worked for Forest Research for over 30 years, and most recently lead the Centre for Sustainable Forestry and Climate Change said, “Times are undoubtedly challenging because of Covid-19 in addition to climate change, pests and diseases as well as Brexit. On the other hand, such challenges can bring the sector together to further strengthen the forestry profession and demonstrate its value to Scotland.” She will now draw on her years of experience in forest science to advise the Scottish Government on technical and professional forestry matters.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing was pleased with Dr MacKay’s appointment, saying, “Her years of scientific expertise at the cutting edge of forestry research will be invaluable. Forestry has a very important role to play in our green recovery and we have many challenges ahead.”

Timber by train trial

A 6-week trial of replacing timber lorries with rail transport has taken place near Inverness. The project ran two to three trains a week, taking around 250 lorry journeys, of around 55,000 miles, local roads. It’s hoped that the trial will help further develop timber transport by rail, lessening the environmental footprint of haulage, and reducing the impact of road transport on rural communities.

This article has been published in the Autumn 2020 edition of the Farm Woodland News.  Download a copy to access all articles.  Subscribe to receive newly published editions via email by using the form here.

A photo of Dr Helen McKay OBE who has recently been appointed as Scotland's new Chief Forester (Autumn 2020)

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