TWO MEETINGS ARE to be held before the end of this month that will provide an opportunity to influence a strategy being prepared for the future of woodland in Moray.
The strategy will guide the creation of new woodland, support the local timber industry and promote sensitive development within woodlands.
In March the planning and regulatory services committee at Moray Council considered a paper that discussed how best to support the Scottish Government objectives to expand woodland cover and promote “sensitive and appropriate” development opportunities within Moray’s woodland.
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.
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.
Now discussions sessions for individuals, groups and community representatives will take place at Horizon Scotland at the Forres Enterprise Park on Tuesday, June 21 from 6pm to 8pm.
A second event for woodland-related businesses will be held at the same venue on Thursday, June 30 from 2pm to 4pm.
The strategy, which will go before Moray councillors for final approval later this year, will become supplementary guidance forming part of the Moray Local Development Plan.