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Newton Nursery in Morayshire is now managed by Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES). This will allow FES to take on full responsibility for its future plant and seed supply, including seed stands and orchards, seed collections, storage and sales.

Woman kneeling in green field wearing green fleece holding small sapling

The supply of quality seed and plants is important to the successful establishment of trees on the National Forest Estate, which has an annual planting programme of around 6,200 ha of restocking plus 890 ha of woodland creation.

This regime demands a total supply of 22 million trees per year and whilst £27.5 million is spent per year establishing and maintaining young trees, around £5.7 million of this is spent on plant and seed supply.

Until recently this requirement was met by Plant & Seed Supply (PSS), which is managed by Forest Enterprise England (FEE). The majority of plants came from the nurseries at Newton, Wykeham and Delamere with the remainder coming from the private sector via contract grow.

As part of devolution, FES has agreed to have full responsibility for its own plant and seed supply by 31 March 2019.

 Rows in a field alternating between rich green leaves and brown earth

This complex transition process was managed by a Transition Group (FES, FEE and PSS forest management, nursery and finance teams, and Transition Manager, Sean Miller) and covered a range of topics including financial arrangements, staffing, plant pricing and procurement.  

Alan Duncan, Newton Nursery Manager now leads for FES in the provision of plants and seed to meet current and future planting programmes and the overall responsibility will fall within the remit of the new Head of Technical Services, Doug Knox.