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Forestry, picture courtesy of Aberdeenshire council PhotographerThe rich diversity of forestry in Aberdeenshire is very important not only in economic terms but environmentally, socially and culturally.

Forestry is an important part of the rural economy, providing employment directly in timber management and production and indirectly in associated business including tourism. Woodland areas composed predominantly of native species are particularly important for biodiversity and landscape.

Forest and Woodland Strategy

In 2005, together with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council produced a Forest and Woodland Strategy for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City. This is now being reviewed and a new strategy for Aberdeenshire will be produced. Until the new strategy is published, the 2005 strategy should still be referred to. For more information on the existing strategy, the new strategy or to access strategy maps, please contact James Davidson on 01224 664221 or email: j.davidson@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

The strategy aims to ensure the sustainable management of woodlands and forests of Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City and provides a framework for woodland development and management over coming years. This links with the wider national aims of the Scottish Forestry Strategy.

Work on the strategy is currently focusing on creating and enhancing woodlands in many of Aberdeenshire's less wooded settlements. Woodland In and Around Towns (WIAT) projects aim to improve the quality and setting of urban areas creating opportunities for recreation, biodiversity and enjoyment of a wooded landscape right on your doorstep.

Forestry Planning

The Forestry Commission Scotland, in conjunction with grants available through the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP), administers the planning and management of forestry.  Aberdeenshire Council are a statutory consultee for forestry grants and licenses including felling licence applications, Forest Plans (plans for private forestry) and Forest Design Plans (plans for the national forest estate). As a consultee we aim to ensure proposals are beneficial to the landscape and biodiversity of the area, enhance provisions for public access and do not have an adverse impact on flooding or water quality.

For further information on grants and licences for forestry contact the Forestry Commission Scotland

Grampian Regional Forestry Forum

Forestry Commission Scotland established five regional forestry forums across Scotland to advise on forestry policy and practice in their areas.  The Grampian Regional Forestry Forum meets four times a year.  One of the main aims of the Forum is to advise the Forestry Commission Scotland on the regional implementation of the Scottish Forestry Strategy and to provide a regional perspective on the Strategy’s future development.