Woodland Trust Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to raise the proportion of native trees to at least 50% of overall planting targets in the fightback against climate change. And the Trust is seeking to work directly with more land managers to help reach the target.

Woodland Trust Scotland director Carol Evans said:

Sign our petition. We are calling on Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham to include an ambitious native woodland creation target in the Climate Change Plan update. We are calling for that target to be at least 50% of new woods created.”

The Climate Change Plan update will soon be in its final stages of scrutiny by the Scottish Parliament.

As part of its Big Climate Fightback, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Woodland Trust is asking people across the UK to take three actions: plant a tree, demand action of Government or make a donation.

The more ambitious native woodland target is Woodland Trust Scotland’s specific ask of the Scottish Government.

Woodland Trust Scotland public affairs manager Arina Russell said:

“A young wood with mixed native species can lock up more than 400 tonnes of carbon per hectare in its trees, roots and soil. The Just Transition Commission’s advice on green recovery calls for diversified tree planting because native trees are more effective in capturing carbon.

“Currently around 40% of new planting in Scotland is with native trees. We would like to see this increased to at least 50% because native trees are more effective at capturing carbon when planted at scale and over a long period.”

Existing native woodland covers only 4% of Scotland’s land area and is highly fragmented.

Our native tree species include Scots pine, birch, alder, willow, oak, rowan, hazel, wild cherry, aspen, holly, juniper, elder and hawthorn. Over the last century, commercial foresters have tended to plant non-native trees such as Sitka spruce. But native trees can be commercial crops too, while giving maximum support to biodiversity and locking up carbon.

Woodland Trust has pledged to plant 50 million trees across the UK by 2025 to help tackle climate change.

Talk to us about trees

Woodland Trust Scotland is seeking to work directly with more land managers to increase native woodland cover.

Senior outreach manager James McDougall said:

“Land managers, farmers, crofters, fisheries boards – please talk to us about trees. Our advice is free and we can guide you through the Government grant process and in some cases offer financial support ourselves. Our highly-qualified advisors can help you through the entire process, from plan to planting.”

The Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods scheme covers 75% of the cost of trees, tubes and stakes for planting 0.5Ha - 3Ha. All the work beforehand is done by the Trust. All land managers need to do is plant the trees.

For larger areas applications can be eligible for up to 100% of materials costs.

For more information contact scotland@woodlandtrust.org.uk 

Free trees for schools and communities

Between 2 and 22 November, the Woodland Trust will distribute 628,005 native trees to 3,092 schools and community groups across the UK.

67,830 trees will go to Scotland where 281 schools and groups will benefit. These include Huntly Climate Action, Udny Climate Action, Galston Angling Club, 48th Ayrshire (Dundonald) Scout Group, Dumfries University Sustainability Team, Sustaining North Berwick, Musselburgh Shed Project, Kinghorn Community Land Association, Sleat Community Trust, Falkirk Community Trust, Bluevale Shift Project, Kilmadock Climate Action and Evanton Community Wood. A full list is available on request.

Our tree packs have been generously funded by lead partners Sainsbury’s, players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Lloyds Bank, OVO Energy, Joules, Bank of Scotland and Sofology

The Trust is currently taking new applications for free trees to be delivered in March 2021.

Notes to editors

For further information contact George Anderson at Woodland Trust Scotland on 07770 700631.

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.

The Trust has three key aims:

  1. protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable
  2. restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life
  3. plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 29,000 hectares. Access to its woods is free.

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