Overview

Scottish Government supports the maintenance and growth of Scotland's forests and forestry industry, so that we may continue to enjoy the benefits they bring to our economy, environment, climate and wellbeing.

Forestry contributes £1 billion per year to the Scottish economy and supports more than 25,000 jobs. Scottish Ministers are committed to delivering economic, social and environmental benefits through forestry in Scotland.

Two executive agencies of the Scottish Government deliver forestry and land management functions:

  1. Scottish Forestry, which is responsible for regulatory, policy, support and grant-giving forestry functions
  2. Forestry and Land Scotland, which is responsible for managing the Scottish Ministers' land known as the National Forest Estate

Background and the devolution of forestry

Scottish Government worked with the Forestry Commission to deliver the forestry devolution programme, which involved:

Scottish Government completed the devolution of forestry to Scotland on 1 April 2019 and published Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019 to 2029 in February 2019.

Scottish Government also produced a report setting out the administrative arrangements for the devolution of forestry in March 2019.

Forestry legislation

The Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018 makes new provisions regarding Scottish Ministers’ functions in relation to forestry. 

Background information about the passage of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill can be found in the Scottish Government website archive.

Woodland ownership

On 1 December 2020, estimates for different ownership types of woodland across Great Britain, including Scotland, were published by Forest Research.

Scottish Government published key data relating to woodland ownership in Scotland in January 2021.