No further loss of ancient woodland
We want to see a line in the strategy which says: ‘There will be no further loss of ancient woodland and trees’. Ancient woodland protection has been a long standing aim of ours and we want to ensure that this irreplaceable habitat, which covers just 1% of Scotland’s land area, will receive better protection. This goes hand in hand with our aim for ancient woodland restoration. Our ancient woodland restoration advisers have noted that UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) certification is the biggest driver for ancient woodland restoration. Therefore we want to see the new strategy enshrine the principles of ancient woodland restoration in line with the UKWAS requirements.
An updated Ancient Woodland Inventory
The data held on ancient woodland in Scotland is outdated and inaccurate, so we ask that the Ancient Woodland Inventory (AWI) is updated and that its quality is improved. Scottish Natural Heritage, which keeps the inventory, does not currently plan an update. Mapping these areas correctly will better inform where ancient woodland is present and help us protect it.
Royal Highland Show
The statement was launched during a reception at the Royal Highland Show with Loch Arkaig flavoured gin from the amazing Gin Bothy. We were delighted to have Woodland Trust CEO Beccy Speight in attendance, and we are grateful to Graeme Dey MSP, convenor of the environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee who hosted the event. Other attendees include the Minster for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn, and MSPs Peter Chapman, Finlay Carson and Rachael Hamilton, who is also our species champion for the alder tree. Throughout the show we also handed out 1000 free trees to good homes.