A context for forestry in Caithness and Sutherland - Round 2

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Forestry in Caithness and Sutherland is often associated with the negative environmental impacts of the establishment of coniferous plantations in the Flow Country.

However, while this is clearly an issue of considerable importance, forestry in the region also has a much wider range of positive interactions as a land use and as a community resource.

CMS was commissioned by Forestry Commission Scotland (now Forestry and Land Scotland) to carry out a scoping study with the aim of providing a context for forestry in Caithness and Sutherland.

The first round of this work occurred in 2007 and work in 2008-2009 built on this initial phase, incorporating case studies and interviews with key stakeholders to highlight the range of existing contributions of forests and woodlands in Caithness and Sutherland and the opportunities for the future in terms of delivering the SFS across the counties.

A wide range of issues and opportunities were identified, including the potential for development of the regional woodfuel market, development of native riparian woodland, widespread forest restructuring and expansion of native semi-natural woodland. The final report has recently been put out to consultation by Forestry Commission Scotland.