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Nine out of ten Scots support more forestry to address climate crisis and timber shortages
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Nine out of ten Scots support more forestry to address climate crisis and timber shortages


Nearly as many people believe that more trees should be planted throughout Scotland, and that the Scottish Government should provide more money for the creation of new forests.

The findings come from a poll by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), which manages 630,000 hectares of the nation’s landscape.

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FLS conducted the survey to gauge public support for productive forestry – where trees are grown specifically for harvesting – in Scotland.

Forestry and Land Scotland found high support for planting commercial forests to fight climate change and reduce timber imports for building.

TreesThey play a crucial role in tackling climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide emissions and storing them in wood products.

The UK has around 13 percent of its land covered in trees, making it one of Europe’s least forested regions.

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Coverage is higher in Scotland, at about 19 per cent, but that’s just half the 38 per cent average across the European Union.

Wood is being used more often as a sustainable and carbon-neutral option to concrete and steel for building.

Around 80 percent of the timber used in the UK comes from imported sources, mostly from Scandinavian, Latvia, and Germany.

FLS plans to plant approximately two million trees annually, with a 40-60 mix of coniferous and broadleaf species. This will create 650 hectares new woodland.

Another 23 million will be planted every year to 2025 to replace the trees, mostly conifers, that have been felled to supply Scotland’s wood processing sector.

“Trees and forests are the best weapons we have in the fight against climate change,” Mick Bottomley, head of marketing and sales for FLS, said.

“They lock away carbon while promoting biodiversity and protecting us from a changing climate.

“It is imperative that we act now, by planting more forests to secure a sustainable future.”

Bottomley stated that the survey revealed strong public support for more productive forest in Scotland.

“Importing so much of the timber we use in construction leaves us at the mercy of fluctuations in the global market,” he said.

“We must also consider the carbon footprint of importing so much timber.

“We believe Scotland-based timber manufacturers could potentially triple production to meet current and future demand.”

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