Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 30 total)
  • PSA: Scottish Forestry Commission Protest!
  • tankslapper
    Free Member

    ‘Hi Everyone

    Please pass this on to as many friends, members and colleagues as possible.

    On Wednesday this week (21st January), at 1pm the we are holding a protest outside Holyrood against the SNP’s plans to
    lease 25% of Scotland’s Forests to private investors.

    Tavish Scott will be joined by Jim Hume MSP and Jeremy Purvis MSP and WE NEED YOU there as well. You can bring your own SAVE

    OUR FORESTS banners but crucially please circulate to your members, colleagues, friends and those who support the campaign.

    Members of staff will be there outside the Holyrood main entrance from 12.30 for any early birds.

    Please ask as many friends, members and colleagues to come along.

    Thanks
    Fiona

    Fiona Milne
    Research Assistant/Jim Hume MSP
    Liberal Democrat, South of Scotland
    The Scottish Parliament
    Edinburgh
    EH99 1SP
    0131 348 6703 (T)
    0131 348 6705 (F)
    fiona.milne@scottish.parliament.uk (E)
    http://www.jimhumemsp.com

    Zedsdead
    Free Member

    And what would these investors do with the 25% of the forests?

    Smee
    Free Member

    What exactly is the problem?

    tankslapper
    Free Member

    The problem will be a closed gate – not an issue if you are not interested in mountain biking. Most (not all) forestry investment organisations take the easy way out with regards recreation.

    wwaswas
    Full Member

    isn’t there a right to roam in scotland though?

    I’m in Brighton so it’s another country for me…

    Zedsdead
    Free Member

    so open the gate, close it behind you and continue?

    Stoner
    Free Member

    Ostensibly I assume that they are aiming to convert lumpy income (planting cost, snedding cost, thinning cost, harvesting cost, sale revenue) over 25-45 years for a steady income from renting out the land and standing wood.

    Has a certain risk control element to it.

    BUT, the threat is that once the land is leased the new occupier then doesnt have any altruistic obligations like FC does to also use the forests for lesiure activities. I can see the fear.

    Mind you, I wouldnt be surprised if FC end up managing the leased forest on behalf of the new lessors anyway 🙂 and it all ends up as a little finance play…

    Stu
    Full Member

    Main issue is it represents a 40% cut in income for the Forestry Commission. So jobs will have to go and as pointed out a commercial operator does not have an obligation to promote recreational use of the forest. Or as Jim Hume puts it:

    “The Scottish Government plans to lease out 25% of Scottish forests for up to 75 years, but the Minister has said that that the most commercially viable land will be up for grabs. That 25% represents in real terms 40% of production for the Forestry Commission so that will significantly diminish the Forestry Commission’s income for investment in maintenance of woodland initiatives such as the 7stanes network and investment into new initiatives.”

    tankslapper
    Free Member

    Stoner

    I wouldn’t describe those costs as ‘lumpy’. Private investors and pension funds see British forestry as a good if boring bet. 40 year rotations of Sitka Spruce may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but at a 5% return over the rotation it makes sense. Throw in little or no expenditure on recreation and we are back to the shut-gate forestry policies of the 1980’s.

    Stoner
    Free Member

    Maybe not lumpy, but those costs are definately the wrong side of 0 for a very long time, and that’s just the kind of thing to make Alec Salmond do daft things.

    ——
    as an aside…little snippet of knowledge for today…
    Back in my early Surveying days I was training to value forests in mid wales, and to this day I think its enchanting that volume of standing wood in a forest is calculated using a special tapemeasure marked to indicate the diameter of a trunk when stretched around its circumference at the height of an average man’s nipples. Or more prosaically “Diameter Breast Height” 🙂

    tankslapper
    Free Member

    Stoner

    That’s exactly why I love forestry, all breast(s) (heights) are at 1.3m! Great! Breast standardisation, what will they think of next!

    zokes
    Free Member

    Our forestry dept had T-shirts with “what’s your DBH” emblazened across them 🙂

    tankslapper
    Free Member

    Mark, you about this Saturday per chance?

    It’s either a blast on Saturday or the Clive Powell Challenge if you fancy it on Sunday!

    Zedsdead
    Free Member

    Is there really a serious risk to us losing out?

    Give it to me in laymans terms

    Stoner
    Free Member

    tankslapper – Im assuming zokes is a “Mark” and your comment is aimed at him, not that you got lucky guessing my name? 🙂

    Stu
    Full Member

    Is there really a serious risk to us losing out?

    40% less money to FC = 40% less money to potentially invest in mtb trails or maintenance.

    FCS mission statement:

    Our mission is to protect and expand Scotland’s forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment.

    A N other commercial operator:

    Our mission is too make as much money as possible

    Clear enough?

    tankslapper
    Free Member

    Stoner – yes aimed at Zokes (Mark) 😀

    Stu – your about right there fella

    Some private firms like Tilhill have proved that commercial and recreational aspirations can live side-by-side – Llandegla is a terrific example. However my long experience in forestry has taught me that this is the exception rather than the norm.

    It strikes me as odd that the SNP, a party so keen to give everything back to the Scottish people, seems all too quick to sell out to private investors for a quick buck!

    Stoner
    Free Member

    It strikes me as odd that the SNP, a party so keen to give everything back to the Scottish people, seems all too quick to sell out to private investors for a quick buck!

    they have to pay for their promises somehow. 🙂

    tankslapper
    Free Member

    But surely Stoner that’s North Sea oil and Scottish Water – lets face it, if we’ve put all this in the hands of the Scots it must be theirs to do as they see fit with?

    tankslapper
    Free Member

    Oh look! There’s a petition:

    http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/forestrycommiss/

    Stoner
    Free Member

    maybe there’ll be an English & Welsh car parking fee at Glentress = 5x the scottish rate 🙂

    Stu
    Full Member

    There’s one here for the Scottish Parliament too:

    Fight for our forests petition

    mt
    Free Member

    Can’t have your Granny looked after for free without finding the money from some place. What happened to the ark of prosperity from Iceland, Ireland, Scotland to Norway. Does it seem so long ago since we could spend spend borrow spend. Happy days.

    Stu
    Full Member

    Can’t have your Granny looked after for free without finding the money from some place

    Think its got more to do with the 2 year freeze on council tax and abolishing of all road tolls. Both popular for sure, but have to be paid for somehow…

    druidh
    Free Member

    Can I start a counter-protest. Personally, I can’t see what the problem is. ON the one hand, folk complain that the forests will be being “worked” more and that recreation will be affected. On the other hand, there’s gonna be less jobs. Is there some sort of forestry robot under construction? This is just political scaremongering. Perish the thought that Scotlands land might be put to some use other than as a glorified amusement park eh?

    bumbly1
    Free Member

    I am with Druidh on this one.

    Tom

    tankslapper
    Free Member

    As a professional forester your both wrong. FACT: forests produce timber no matter who owns them. Excessive felling is controlled via felling licences so no change there – unless you pair are suggesting the ‘other use’ is oil, that the rest of us haven’t found in the woods yet. FACT: Without ‘glorified’ amusement parks we wouldn’t have mountain bike centres.

    The FC has and continues to provide recreation and timber in a sensitive and sustainable manner for the people of this country in perpituity, so WTF should the lands, timber and access that we have all paid taxes for be sold off to a third party?

    Water, Gas, Electricity, Phones – all sold off ALL now in service of share holders not in the service of you and me.

    This is far, far from political scaremongering this is reality.

    druidh
    Free Member

    tankslapper – Member

    The FC has and continues to provide recreation and timber in a sensitive and sustainable manner for the people of this country in perpituity, so WTF should the lands, timber and access that we have all paid taxes for be sold off to a third party?

    Water, Gas, Electricity, Phones – all sold off ALL now in service of share holders not in the service of you and me.

    Ah – you’re talking about England? In that case, what has this got to do with Holyrood?

    Trail centres have their place, but there’s no need to dedicated the whole of the countryside to it, thanks.

    And it’s not being sold off, it’s being leased.

    Phones sold off “not in the interest of the consumer?” can you remember what it was like before?

    tankslapper
    Free Member

    You win 😆

    druidh
    Free Member
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