The Forestry Commission set to work in Scotland over the next 40 years to create a home timber supply.
In 1900, only about 5% of Scotland’s land area was wooded. They converted ancient woodlands to commercial conifer plantations which was damaging, since ancient woodlands are more supportive to biodiversity than recently planted spruce woodland.
Woodland cover in Scotland currently stands at around 18% of land area or 1.41 million hectares (This is far less than the EU average of 40%) much of which comprises plantations of non-native species.
The financial drivers for forestry planting and management over the last few decades in Scotland have resulted in the dominance of one species of tree – the Sitka spruce
, which makes up a staggering 70 per cent of the forested areas in this country.