LORD Lovat and Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing recently joined serving and retired foresters at Monaughty, Moray to plant a tree marking the centenary of public forestry in Scotland.

The event mirrored the planting in that forest of the first Forestry Commission tree in Scotland, by Simon Joseph Fraser, the 14th Lord Lovat, who was the first chairman of the Forestry Commission.

Current Lord Lovat Simon Fraser said: “It was a pleasure to be here to help recreate the events of 1919 when the first Forestry Commission trees in Scotland were planted.

“It is ironic that the Forestry Commission, established immediately after the world emerged from one global catastrophe will, in its latest incarnations, play such an important role in addressing our 21st-century global catastrophe – that of the climate emergency.

“This planting will help in the effort to raise awareness of forestry’s currency, relevance or standing and to enrol the support of people from all walks of life in planting more trees.”

Fergus Ewing added: “Forestry in Scotland has never played such an important role in sustaining livelihoods, communities, habitats and species – and in delivering so many other environmental, social and economic benefits.

“Marking this centenary today is a gesture of thanks both to the far-sighted people who established the Commission and to the generations of foresters – men and women – who have planted, nurtured and developed Scotland’s forests and woodlands over the past century.”

Retired Forestry Commission Scotland staff joined colleagues from Forestry and Land Scotland and from the RSFS.