MSP Hails Scotland for leading the way in planting 74% of UK’s broadleaf trees

New figures have revealed that three-quarters of the UK’s broadleaf trees have been planted in Scotland – despite Tory claims that the SNP has failed to raise broadleaf planting quickly enough.

New figures have revealed that three-quarters of the UK’s broadleaf trees have been planted in Scotland – despite Tory claims that the SNP has failed to raise broadleaf planting quickly enough.

Research by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows that 11,210 hectares of forestry was planted in Scotland last year – compared to a total of just 1,940 hectares in England and Wales.

3,940 hectares of broadleaved woodland was planted in Scotland last year – with just 1,000 hectares raised in England.

Last year, the First Minister pledged to increase woodland planting rates in Scotland to 12,000 hectares per annum – almost double the UK government’s target of 5,000 hectares per annum, which has been missed every year since it was set in 2013.

Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said

We know that increasing tree planting can play a key role in tackling climate change – which is why the UK government must urgently step up and match the SNP’s record and ambition on this crucial issue.

The SNP in government has committed to ensure that Scotland plays it’s part in tackling the global climate emergency – pledging to plant 36 million trees in Scotland by 2030 – and these figures show the good work that has already taken place.

How we protect our nature is key to Scotland achieving its ambitions, and to ensuring our nation has a sustainable future.

Through our words and our actions, we can show that Scotland belongs on the world stage as an independent nation.

Scotland has been consistently planting more trees than any other part of the UK for the last ten years. In 2019 Scotland was just short of meeting the First Ministers target of 12,000 hectares.

New planting in the UK, 2009-2019
area (thousands of hectares)
Year England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
2009 2.51 0.19 3.44 0.29 6.43
2010 2.29 0.22 2.72 0.21 5.44
2011 2.53 0.30 6.02 0.25 9.10
2012 2.67 0.76 9.03 0.31 12.76
2013 2.59 0.91 7.04 0.25 10.79
2014 3.34 0.93 8.33 0.29 12.89
2015 2.43 0.10 7.56 0.21 10.30
2016 0.82 0.14 4.63 0.05 5.65
2017 1.15 0.40 4.76 0.21 6.51
2018 1.50 0.24 7.14 0.21 9.09
2019 1.42 0.52 11.21 0.24 13.40

Breakdown of the2019 planting figures

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
New planting by forest type
Conifers 0.42 0.25 7.27 0.10 8.05
Broadleaves 1.00 0.27 3.94 0.14 5.35
All new planting 1.42 0.52 11.21 0.24 13.40
Source: Forestry Commission, Scottish Forestry, Forestry and Land Scotland, Natural Resources Wales,

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