Call for ideas over future use of Moray’s woodland areas

Call for ideas on use of Moray's woodland areas
Call for ideas on use of Moray’s woodland areas

NEW IDEAS ARE being sought over the future strategy in Moray seeking out new ways of supporting the local timber industry and promoting development opportunities within woodland.

Members of the planning and regulatory services committee will consider a paper today that discusses how best to support the Scottish Government objectives to expand woodland cover and promote “sensitive and appropriate” development opportunities within Moray’s woodland.

Moray Council set up a working group alongside Scottish Natural Heritage, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Forestry Commission to oversee the preparation of a new strategy, with input sought from the timber industry and NHS Grampian.

The importance of Forestry to the Moray economy is underlined with the region consisting over forestry cover over one-quarter of its land mass, providing direct employment through timber production and indirect employment through tourism and leisure. Timber production throughout Scotland is expected to increase year on year over the next 15 years.

There are also other economic development opportunities beyond the timber industry, with several outdoor learning businesses and social enterprises operating in Moray. Planning Officer Emma Gordon notes in her submission: “There are children’s nurseries in Moray within woodland settings that specialise in outdoor learning experiences.

“The strategy will investigate the opportunities to promote local enterprises, businesses and groups like Wild Things, Earth Time and Outfit Moray.”

Councillors will be asked to approve the publication of the paper “Call for Ideas” that sets out the key questions Moray Council are seeking input on.

‘Call for Ideas’ can be downloaded from the Moray Council website and calls for responses by June.