IN the last four decades, Scotland has planted more trees than anywhere else in the UK, taking the area of tree cover to just under 1.5 million ha, according to Malcolm Young from SAC Consulting’s woodland team. His expectation is that this area will continue to rise as more farmers better understand the benefits of woodland and forests to their farm business.

Commenting on the 2019 Forest Research report, Mr Young said that woodland and forest plantings have been on the year-on-year rise.

“Since 2016 almost 35,000 ha of trees have been planted, taking the UK wooded area to 3.19 million ha, 73 per cent of which has been planted on privately owned land. The average area of new planting is 24 ha, a clear indication that the bulk of planting is being done on farms, by farmers.

“The bulk of this planting has been in Scotland, with almost 28,000 ha being planted over the same period, with planting levels in 2018/19 being the highest since 2002. SAC Consulting’s woodland team contributed over 1,000 ha in the last couple of seasons.”

He cited that recent reports indicate very high market values for farms being sold with tree-planting potential.

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