Rural Economy and Tourism Secretary, Fergus Ewing, has welcomed a new report that shows that Scotland has more native woodland than previously reported.
Published as official statistics by the National Forest Inventory (NFI), the study into Woodland Ecological Condition is the largest and most in-depth assessment of the ecological condition of any habitat in Great Britain.
It reveals that in Scotland 442,611 hectares are now classified as native woodland, more than had previously been thought – and that the majority of this is North East and West Scotland.
This figure is up 131,458 hectares on the previous estimate reported in the 2014 Native Woodland Survey of Scotland assessment, and is set to increase as Scotland continues to meet its target for native woodland planting set out in the Biodiversity Route Map to 2020 and our Bonn Challenge commitment. In 2019 Scotland planted 4,436 hectares of native woodland.
The statistics reveal that over 430,000 ha of these native woodlands are in overall ‘favourable’ or ‘intermediate’ condition. They also show that Scotland’s non-native woodlands make an ecological contribution, with less than 6% in ‘unfavourable’ ecological condition.