FLS continues to lead the way in community empowerment
Almost 150 community groups across Scotland are taking the opportunity to benefit their communities thanks to Forestry and Land Scotland’s (FLS) leading role in community empowerment.
In its fifth annual report outlining its work, FLS highlights the existing 94 partnerships, agreements or leases with communities, as well as 19 successful asset transfers under its Community Asset Transfer Scheme since its inception in 2017.
The report also notes around 25 more CATS projects are in development and over 30 more communities are actively looking at options to develop projects on the national forests and land.
Welcoming the report, Environment Minister, Mairi McAllan said;
“Access to land is key to a wide range of community initiatives and projects that boost future prospects for growth and prosperity.
“FLS is doing some excellent work to facilitate recreational, environmental or economic activities on the land that it manages.
“This is a forward looking, empowering approach to land management and I look forward to many more communities exploring their options and seizing their opportunities.”
In order to take this important work forward FLS recently opened (31 May 2022) a consultation on a draft Communities Strategy for Scotland’s National Forests and Land, contacting over 500 community groups and other stakeholders to encourage their participation.
Consultation responses will help finalise the Strategy and set the principles and strategic priorities for how FLS will work with communities to make best use of Scotland's national forest and land.
In the fifth annual report period (1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022) FLS has validated four requests for ownership of sites, issued decision notices to approve five requests and completed four transfers of ownership and one lease transfer
Since 2017 FLS has completed two renewable energy generation leases with local communities and has completed a total of 15 asset transfer sales. A further six sites are under offer and over 30 more projects are in development, many supported by the Scottish Land Fund’s Stage 1 funding.
Notes to editors
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.