1 Apr 2019

Devolution of forestry to Scotland completed

On 1 April 2019, the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018 came into effect completing the devolution of forestry to Scotland.

This means that Forestry will be fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament.

It also means that new fully devolved arrangements will come into place, including the creation of two new Scottish Government forestry agencies.

One of them, Forestry and Land Scotland, is now responsible for managing the Scottish Ministers’ land known as the National Forest Estate.

Scottish Forestry (SF), an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government, replaces Forestry Commission Scotland, and is responsible for forestry policy, regulation, support and the awarding and payment of forestry grants.

Together, they will play a significant role in taking forward the Scottish Government’s ambitions and priorities of tackling climate change, economic development, environmental enhancement and improving health and well-being – all helping to create a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish.

However, although forestry is now fully devolved, Scottish Forestry will not be working in isolation and will continue to work closely with the Welsh and UK Governments, and with the Forestry Commission, which will continue to manage forestry in England.

As an active partner in an enhanced and strengthened cross-border collaboration, Scotland will lead the co-ordination of work on the UK Forestry Standard, the Woodland Carbon Code and forestry economics advice.