Forestry specialists welcome leasing u-turn

Forestry specialists welcome leasing u-turn

Prospect has welcomed the announcement by Scottish environment minister Roseanna Cunningham that the government has dropped plans to lease up to a quarter of Scotland’s woodlands.

On behalf of 280 Forestry Commission staff, Prospect’s national secretary Anne Douglas said:

“This is very welcome news and the minister is to be congratulated for listening to the concerns voiced by our members.

"We have fought against these proposals since they were first put forward as they were ill-conceived and likely to result in the loss of several hundred good quality jobs in some of Scotland’s remotest rural areas.

“They failed to detail how any money raised would have been used for investment in forestry. In fact, given the drop in timber sales as a result of the economic downturn, they actually threatened the viability of the commission’s business plan.”

Prospect members in the Forestry Commission work as conservators, surveyors, land agents, mechanical and civil engineers, electronics specialists, radio technicians, cartographers and forest office management specialists.

The union remains committed to dialogue with the Government to explore alternative measures in the fight against climate change.