Monday 18th March 2013, 11:40am

Following three years of detailed negotiation Summerleaze is pleased to announce the approval of the Summerleaze Long Term Forestry Plan (LTFP) for Strathmore and the release of up to £1m from Rural Development funding by the Scottish Government for peatland restoration at these landholdings. The LTFP is the first forest plan approved by the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) located in the Flow Country and it sets the strategy for Forestry in the Flows where forestry and environmental objectives can co-exist.

The funding will deliver the restoration of 450ha of land back to peatland through the removal of the existing poor crop of pure Lodgepole pine, the removal of deer fences, conifer regeneration and blocking ditches. This will lead to environmental benefits of increased biodiversity, the protection and enhancement of carbon sinks, the creation of habitats for endangered breeding moorland birds and will mitigate any impact on the neighbouring designated sites.

In addition the LTFP has enabled funding from the Scottish Timber Transport Scheme for the building of a 7.3km link road through Braehour forest which will remove the need to use the weak local public roads for the transport of timber. Following the removal of the timber the provision of this road will also make public access to the area easier, increasing outdoor sporting opportunities and tourism.

Finally, the LTFP will ensure that consumers of timber products from Strathmore Forest, can be certain that they originate from a woodland managed to the highest standards of sustainable forest management and will, as a result of the third party auditing, enable the certification of the timber under the Forest Stewardship Certification scheme (FSC)