Forestry funds to be reinvested in sector after amendment to Bill is agreed

ALL money raised from Scotland’s National Forestry Estate will be reinvested in the industry here in Scotland, after a new amendment to a Bill going through parliament was agreed.

Scottish Greens Rural Communities spokesperson John Finnie MSP argued that funds raised by the National Forestry Estate (NFE) in the disposal of any of its property should be reinvested in forestry.

Current it can be spent on other government portfolio areas.

Finnie tabled an amendment to the Forestry Bill as a Member of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, now accepted by members.

Welcoming their support, he said: “I am pleased that my committee colleagues agreed that the government must invest in our forests and passed my amendment.

“This improvement to the Bill will ensure that profits from sales from the National Forestry Estate are reinvested in that portfolio on behalf of the people of Scotland.

“Currently profits from the estate can be siphoned off across different areas of government spending, diluting any benefits to the forestry estate.

“I’m particularly pleased that my amendment will help facilitate the creation of new native woodland, as well as ensure existing forests and woodland in Scotland can protected and secured for posterity as part of Scotland’s important £1billion forest industry.”

The Scottish Greens say between 1999 and 2016 the NFE’s repositioning programme gave a profit of £59.3m, with no guarantee the money was re-invested into forestry.

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WANT TO LEARN MORE? Read: Forestry and Land management (Scotland) Bill

IMAGE CREDITS: @shaunmilne

Shaun Milne is a Scottish based journalist with a particular interest in environmental issues, politics and travel.

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