Scotland’s forest and timber industries employ around 40,000 people and are worth £1.7 billion to the economy, possessing significant growth potential.
The sector incorporates the growing, planting, forest management and harvesting, sawmilling, pulp and paper production, panel and board manufacturing, and the development and production of higher value goods such as engineered wood products.
Forest and timber industries also play an important role in a number of supply chains and other sectors:
- Providing timber as a sustainable raw material to be used in construction
- Providing a clean and renewable energy source for biomass (woodfuel)
- Acting as a significant leisure and tourism destination for outdoor activities such as walking, mountain biking, and riding
- Utililising cellulose within the chemical sciences and textiles sectors
The sector has a compelling response to the Scottish Government’s low-carbon agenda, and wider consumer demand for sustainable products, capitalising on the inherent natural strengths that timber possesses.
The geography of sector is spread throughout Scotland, with the value-added manufacturing distributed between urban and rural areas and the forest-based activities contributing to the economic foundation of rural communities in the Highlands, Moray, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Perthshire, Forth Valley, Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and the Scottish Borders.