Value from Supporting Local Forestry Businesses: A Scoping Study

Value from Supporting Local Forestry Businesses: A Scoping Study

This scoping study describes the sector of forestry activity which is locally-based, locally-organised, and typically small-scale. It aims to assess the extent of knowledge and the quality and usefulness of evidence, in order to understand the sector’s value and how best to support it. This study is a preliminary evaluation of the sector in order to scope a longer term process to improve the knowledge base and priorities for support.

Across Scotland, dozens of initiatives have developed into a dynamic sector: local small and medium sized businesses and community initiatives which own, manage and use woodlands and their produce. This sector encompasses: locally based woodland owners (mainly community and private); local enterprises that either use timber or other woodland produce; businesses that locate their activities in local woodlands; and the suppliers and contractors that contribute to management of local/small woodlands.

The study brings together two elements that distinguish forestry businesses in this sector:

• Local control - with control, activity and benefits occurring locally.

• Small-scale – most forestry businesses of this type are micro-scale and woodlands are small (though land holdings in the case of community woodlands can be larger).

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