A new poll has found the majority of the Scottish population ‘support reforestation in the Highlands’.
The survey, made up of 1000 people, was commissioned by Forestry and Land Scotland, and found that 80% of respondents want more trees to be planted in the Highlands.
Other key findings were that 78% of people think that more should be done to support biodiversity in the region, while more than 90% of respondents said they supported productive forestry as a means to reduce climate change.
The survey also found that the majority of Scots want Scotland to become more self-sufficient in timber production.
Forestry and Land Scotland manage between 40-50% of woodland in the Highlands, with the area producing around 500,000 tonnes of timber each year, which gets used for such means as housebuilding, fencing, and pallets.
The nature agency is hoping reforestation can help the current climate emergency, and can contribute to the national effort to reduce nature loss.
Graeme Prest, Forestry and Land Scotland north region manager, said: “There is strong support in Scotland for increasing the amount of timber we grow here by planting more forests, to make us less dependent on timber imports from abroad – and to support biodiversity.
“It’s about planting the right tree in the right place.
“Some of Scotland’s endangered and iconic species such as red squirrels, ospreys, hen harriers and pine marten do especially well in productive forests.
“We have received £30m from the Scottish Government to buy more land to plant more publicly owned forests and woodlands.
“This will enable us to increase our tree planting effort by 20% by 2024/25, helping to meet the Government’s ambitious net-zero targets.”