To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the oral contribution of the Rt. hon. Member for Meriden, what steps the church takes to ensure that its forestry plantations in Scotland avoid monoculture plantings.
1 April 2019
In order to comply with the Forestry Stewardship Council, UK Woodland Assurance Scheme and UK Forestry Standards, forests must contain a maximum of 75% primary species. Latest figures for forests in Scotland managed by the Church Commissioners show that they contain around 65% Sitka spruce, though that percentage was higher when the forests were first planted in the 1960s and 1970s. The remainder comprises native broadleaves and other conifer species such as Scots pine, Norway spruce, Douglas fir and open ground. Open ground makes up approximatley 19% of the area under management and mostly comprises native grasses, water (ponds, streams and rivers), heather and rock outcrops. The Church Commissioners will achieve at least 5% native broadleaves by the end of the first rotation.