Core Sites work is the start of a process, not an end point. With 50 private landowners committed to a 10-year management programme, it is clear that good practise will be assured for the near future in many core forest areas.
At the same time, we’ve expanded the woodland skills base. People in communities across Scotland now have the knowledge and the practical know-how to conceive and carry out further work for native woods. They have also gained experience in working in partnership with others and building consensus.
Agencies and authorities who have supported the project are actively developing ideas for Scottish Forest Habitat Networks in both upland and lowland areas. Research is continuing, with new tools and information sets being developed and applied to accurately reveal gaps in existing networks.
Boosting and conserving the variety of woodland life – biodiversity – will be an important part of the future development of Core Forest Sites. But there will also be the challenge of balancing biodiversity aims with the needs of rural job creation, timber production and use and with changes in farming.
Using the experience gained so far, people involved in caring for Core Sites are well-placed to help with planning how woodlands, wildlife and the rural economy can all be supported and expanded in the future.