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World Environment Day is a great way to flag up all of the important work that people around the world are doing to help our environment.

It’s a chance to hear lots of good news about the environment and a great pat on the back for all of the individuals, communities and organisations that are lending a hand to slowly and steadily improve the health of our environment.

Every project - big or small – makes a difference at the local level but taken altogether, the impact is felt globally.

Mountains, trees, a loch and low clouds at Glen Affric

Responsible and sustainable forestry

We’re doing our bit to help, too. In our day-to-day work, we manage Scotland’s national forests and land in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; and delivers benefits for people and nature.

We produce around 2.5 million tonnes of timber every year that is processed in to an incredible array of products – everything from the pallets and packaging that is a vital part of the logistical, national effort supporting the COVID-19 response, to paper, fence posts and wood-fuel pellets – even timber frames for housing in place of carbon-rich concrete and steel.

And to make sure that our forests continue to soak up carbon - over 3 million tonnes of CO2 each year – we plant more trees. Last year we planted around 1 million trees in woodland creation projects - but we planted just over ten times as many as part of our re-stocking programme.

This makes a positive contribution to the effort to mitigate the Climate Emergency but it is also good for the forestry sector and the communities that rely on it. It’s also good for a whole host of species – including us.

Newly planted trees on a hillside

Improving habitats for trees, wildlife and you!

Creating new woodland, managing the forests we already have and restoring native woodlands and habitats is a fundamental part of our conservation work. It maintains or creates the range of habitats that help hundreds of species to thrive – species as diverse as the endangered Scottish wildcat, fresh water pearl mussels, red squirrels, capercaillie and even rare species of butterfly.

And our woodlands are also the ideal environment to provide everyone with the opportunity to boost their mental, physical and spiritual well-being…even if it’s just by going for a walk.

But our contribution to the environment goes beyond managing forests for the benefit of wildlife and people, and growing trees to lock up carbon emissions.

Turbine above trees at Whitelee windfarm

Helping communities

Working both with private companies and with small rural communities, the land that we manage hosts almost 90 renewable energy generation schemes – 21 wind and 67 hydro, with more on the way – that between them generate 1.1 gigawatts yearly – enough to power 500,000 homes.

We’re doing what we can to help – and we’re always looking to see how we could do even more. So on World Environment Day, find out how people around your area, around the country, around the world are helping – and see if you, too, can lend a hand. 

 

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