A new partnership for safeguarding Scotland’s forests

8th Nov 2012

Two of the UK’s leading environmental research organisations have announced they are to sign a partnership agreement aimed at strengthening research into woodlands and integrated land-use.

Forest Research and the James Hutton Institute formally signed the deal on Tuesday 23 October. Forest Research is one of the world’s leading centres of research into woodlands and forestry. The James Hutton Institute is one of the biggest research organisations in Europe focusing on land, crop, water, environmental and socioeconomic science. Both undertake a wide range of research for customers including the Scottish and UK Governments, the EU and other organisations worldwide.

The two organisations say that by combining expertise they can develop the value of forests and multifunctional landscapes to the rural economy. They will also contribute to safeguarding tree health and in advancing specific land management techniques such as agro-forestry, an integrated approach of using the benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock.

Amongst other things, the new partnership will share data on Scotland’s soils, vegetation and land management collected in experimental field trials going back over many years.

Forest Research and the James Hutton Institute believe their closer working relationship will contribute to the safeguarding of Scotland’s unique, natural ecosystems, encourage advances in carbon management and energy, and develop the study of the impact of climate change and how to adapt Scotland’s land uses to these threats.

Their combined knowledge of the rural economy and the importance of people in land use decision-making will enable a wider analysis of the role of communities in land use decisions and contribute to planning for sustainable economic development.

Forest Research’s Chief Executive, Dr James Pendlebury said: “The partnership offers a comprehensive approach to providing evidence on land use planning and management. It builds on a successful history of collaboration between staff of our two organisations and will provide a unique capability for Scottish and other stakeholders to tap into.”

Professor Iain Gordon, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, said: “We believe this is the right time to work more closely together on a strategic vision for considering forestry within the wider land use sector and the rural economy.

“We have no doubt that there are clear benefits in closer engagement of research and knowledge exchange within this partnership. It will permit greater collaboration between scientists across a range of complementary disciplines and help us exchange knowledge with a wide range of stakeholders in Scotland and much further afield.”

Back to List »
Share |