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    Minister visits Jerah Forest to see how tree planting cuts flood risk


    Pictured (L-R): Stuart Goodall, CEO, Confor; Andrew Vaughan, district manager, Tilhill Forestry; Mairi Gougeon MSP, minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment; Murray Cook, archaeologist, Stirling Council

    A Scottish government minister has seen how large-scale tree planting is helping protect communities from flooding.

    Mairi Gougeon MSP, minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, visited Jerah Forest where trees were placed to protect the village of Menstrie, which was badly affected by flooding in 2004 and 2012.

    Mairi said: “Jerah Forest is one of Scotland’s largest newly planted productive woodlands. It’s a great example of multi-purpose forestry that we want to see for the future.”

    A total of 1.3m trees were planted at Jerah in early 2015.

    Timber production is the main long-term aim of Jerah, but other benefits include flood risk mitigation, peatland restoration, public access and habitats for birds. 

    Jerah has won awards for its balance of delivering for the environment, economy and community.

    Two PhD studies at Heriot-Watt University are looking at the risk of water run-off from different types of planting and to record the impact on Menstrie below.

    Mairi added: “This is an exciting time for forestry in Scotland. On 1 April, new fully devolved arrangements will come into place, including two new forestry agencies that will play a significant role in taking forward the Scottish Government’s ambitions and priorities including delivery of Scotland’s new Forestry Strategy.

    The minister’s visit was organised by the forestry and wood trade body Confor.

    Pictured (L-R) are: Stuart Goodall, CEO, Confor; Andrew Vaughan, district manager, Tilhill Forestry; Mairi Gougeon MSP, minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment; Murray Cook, archaeologist, Stirling Council

    www.confor.org.uk

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