SCOTLAND’S party of government, the SNP, has promised to plant 36 million trees every year in Scotland by 2030.

Senior party figures signed the joint pledge with Confor at Leith Links in Edinburgh last month.

It was signed by Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy; Deidre Brock, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith; and Stuart Goodall, chief executive of Confor.

Confor set planting targets to 2030 in a document this year and the SNP has signed up to those targets, which would see planting in Scotland rise to 18,000 hectares annually by 2030 – about 36 million trees.

Fergus Ewing said: “We have raised our game in Scotland because planting trees matters – not only to tackle climate change, but to encourage biodiversity and support an industry worth £1 billion annually to the economy and employing more than 25,000 people. We are committed to maintaining the increase in planting rates, working with leadership bodies like Confor and anyone else interested in what trees can deliver for our environment, economy and society. Only this shared national endeavour can deliver success.”

The pledge card read: “We will press for an increase in new woodland creation, working towards a target of 60 million trees planted annually in the UK by 2025, with 30 million of these in Scotland to help tackle the climate emergency and to support biodiversity and rural employment.”