Land Use: Tree Planting


Planting More Trees?

Land Use

Tree Planting

The Scottish Government aims to reach the target of net zero by 2045. One of the measures which can help Scotland to achieve this target is the planting of trees, to increase the area currently afforested. Trees hold large amounts of carbon, and can thus reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere (carbon sequestration).

There is no doubt that there are many areas in Scotland where trees could usefully be planted to aid carbon sequestration and where new tree planting would also enhance the local environment, both for the benefit of wildlife and as an amenity for local people.

Many proposals have been put forward for tree planting in the Highlands and many acres of trees have already been planted. But the process of compensating for carbon produced elsewhere by planting trees in the Highlands is not straightforward, and must be approached with great caution.

There are already plans for tree planting in some areas of the proposed Affric National Park. These must be examined in detail: we need to know

  • what tree species will be planted
  • where they will be planted
  • how effective the ensuing carbon sequestration will be
  • what studies have been done to determine the environmental impact of this change of land use
  • what the effect will be on local communities.

We understand that the organisation Trees for Life (TfL) is proposing a corridor of trees from east to west across the Highlands including all the area of the proposed Affric National Park.[1]

Any studies in relation to this should be carried out by independent organisations with the results being made available to the public.  If any of this is to take place, there must be full and proper consultation with the community – something that TfL has repeatedly failed to do in the past and all the above questions (including others that may arise) must be answered.