RURAL Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has urged the Scottish forestry sector to play its part in driving down the spread of COVID-19.

In a blog post on the Scottish Forestry website, Mr Ewing noted the important role Scotland’s forestry sector has played in keeping people safe and secure throughout the  pandemic and continues to do so now.

He wrote: "Essential forestry work, in the forests and in the sawmills and timber processors, carried on throughout lockdown, ensuring wood was available to make the pallets which transported medical and food supplies across the UK.

"The forestry sector was one of the first sectors to gear back up to work. During this period, our operations demonstrated that we are an industry that could continue to work effectively, and most importantly, safely."

Mr Ewing went on to say that, while we have all be working in the 'new normal', the pandemic is now at a critical point, with infection rates on the rise.

"We need to follow the guidance as individuals, managers and as employers. It is the only way we will get on top of this dangerous virus."

He added: "I want to urge everyone in the forestry sector to play their part in the collective endeavour in helping drive down the spread of this virus.

"Employers need to keep engaging with their workers and contractors to ensure everyone fully understands their role in keeping safe during this time. We need to stick with this at work but also follow the rules in life outside of work – it is the only way we can protect ourselves, friends and family.

"If you are living and working in the central belt, think very carefully whether you need to travel outside your health board area. You should only really travel if it is essential so please check with your employer whether that business trip is really needed."

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £69 for 1 year – or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link:

Thanks – and stay safe.