Study to gauge economic impact of Scotland’s forest industries

by | Sep 29, 2014 | Featured Slider, News

Scotland’s forest industries are being urged to take part in a survey that aims to establish an updated picture of forestry’s contribution to the Scottish economy.

The two part study will look both at the economic contribution of the forest industries (including forest based tourism) as a whole, and at the economic contribution of the National Forest Estate, including non forestry activities such as renewables developments and agriculture.

The survey will be carried out in late September and early October, with a sample of forest owners, businesses and other organisations being asked to complete a questionnaire.

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for the Environment & Climate Change, said,

“These are important economic indicators for the Scottish Government’s Forestry Strategy and help to inform debate around forestry policy. The last assessment was carried out six years ago and much in the world of forestry has changed since then.

“It is vital that businesses working in the forest industries complete the questionnaire to produce credible, up to date figures that demonstrate the economic value of the industry and employment supported.

“The study will also look at the economic contribution of the National Forest Estate, managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, which in itself will be an important piece of work to inform policy.”

CJC Consulting has been commissioned to undertake the study on behalf of Forestry Commission Scotland, in conjunction with Confor, the UK Forest Products Association, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Land and Estates.

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of CONFOR, added;

“It is vital the sector has accurate and up-to-date information on the contribution it makes to Scotland’s economy. I would encourage everyone to respond to the survey.”

The study will help assess the jobs supported and economic value generated in all elements of the sector (planting, management, harvesting, haulage, processing, woodfuel, forest tourism) and in areas such as community forestry, conservation, education and research.

David Sulman, Executive Director of the UK Forest Products Association (UKFPA), said:

“Scotland’s forestry and forest products sector makes a significant economic contribution to Scotland and we urge all businesses in the sector to participate in this important study.”

The last assessment was carried out in 2008 and it is anticipated that the findings of this new survey will be published in 2015.