Finnie hails amendment to Forestry Bill ensuring funds raised are reinvested in forestry

Scottish Greens Rural Communities spokesperson John Finnie MSP is hailing an amendment to the Forestry Bill which will ensure that all funds raised by the National Forestry Estate (NFE) in the disposal of any of its property are reinvested in forestry rather than be spent on other government portfolio areas as is currently the case.


Mr Finnie moved the amendment as a Member of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee which is the lead committee scrutinising the bill.


Between 1999 and 2016 the NFE’s repositioning programme yielded a profit of £59.3m, with no guarantee the money was re-invested into forestry


John said:


“I am pleased that my committee colleagues agreed that the government must invest in our forests and passed my amendment.


“This improvement to the Bill will ensure that profits from sales from the National Forestry Estate are reinvested in that portfolio on behalf of the people of Scotland.


“Currently profits from the estate can be siphoned off across different areas of government spending, diluting any benefits to the forestry estate.


“I’m particularly pleased that my amendment will help facilitate the creation of new native woodland, as well as ensure existing forests and woodland in Scotland can protected and secured for posterity as part of Scotland’s important £1billion forest industry.”