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Managing Scotland’s forests and lands is a balancing act. The impact of a renewable energy scheme means every proposal has to be carefully considered, by ourselves as land managers, and by other authorities.

It is important to note that our own role covers land management and forestry. Broader concerns like the effect on aviation, or impact to the landscape, are considered by other authorities. 

Planning stakeholders

Many of the decisions regarding a renewable energy project are dealt with by authorities beyond Forestry and Land Scotland. We operate as land managers and comment on schemes with regard to land use and forestry. Other authorities involved in the planning process may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Local Authority
  • NatureScot
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Scottish Forestry
  • Scottish Ministers
  • Scottish Water
  • Directorate for Planning & Environmental Appeals 

Ultimately, the decision to give consent to a renewable energy project is taken by the relevant local planning authority, or for schemes of a large size, Scottish Ministers. 

Best practice

The work to install a new renewable energy site can be disruptive to local communities. If a scheme is agreed, we continue to work with the developer to minimise this impact. 

We were part of a working group which published guidance on good practice during wind farm construction. Members of this group included Scottish Forestry, Scottish Renewables, Nature Scot, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, and representatives from the wind industry. This guidance covers subjects including: 

  • Pollution prevention
  • Nature conservation
  • Landscape and hydrological impacts 

In this way we ensure developments on our land are carried out responsibly. 

We also operate under the Scottish Government Woodland Removal Policy. This means we ensure trees are planted elsewhere for areas made unplantable because of renewable energy developments. 

Operational and pending developments

Here you will find details of operational renewable energy schemes, and others at various stages of planning. This list is updated twice a year.