The uncertainties around Brexit might be causing problems for other industries but for the forestry sector, there has been a decided short-term benefit, courtesy of the weakness in the pound.

The UK imports some 80 per cent of the wood and wood products it requires, but foreign wood imports now look very highly priced. As a result, the sector is enjoying a period of extremely healthy prices.

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The sector is hugely important both to the Scottish economy and to rural communities across Scotland. The industry supports around 25,000 jobs in Scotland and adds some £1 billion to the economy, while Scotland’s forests and saw mills provide over 50 per cent of the UK’s domestic sawn timber.

Forestry is an integral part of the renewables industry, it contributes to flood prevention, carbon capture, biodiversity and tourism.

Advances in laminate design are contributing to construction and farmers and foresters are now starting to cooperate more fully as planting forest areas can generate extra income for, in particular, livestock farms.

The Forestry Commission is soon to be divided --  with the part responsible for grants and licenses becoming a new dedicated forestry division within the Scottish Government. The part of the Commission that manages the forests will continue as an external agency, under the name Forestry and Land, Scotland.

It has also been announced that the Scottish government has raised its annual planting target for new forests from 10,000 hectares a year to 15,000 hectares a year by 2025.

At this exciting time, this eight-page special report turns the spotlight on one of Scotland’s vital industries.