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Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of Scotland what were the tree species used and proportions of those species planted by the Forestry Commission in its restocking programme in the periods 1961 to 1970, 1971 to 1980 and 1981 to 1985.

The main species used in the Commission's restocking programmes in these periods in these periods were Sitka spruce, larches, Douglas fir and Corsican pine on coniferous sites, and oak, beech, birch, ash and sycamore on broadleaved woodland. A further breakdown is not available in the form requested as detailed records on restocking were not kept prior to 1974–75, and information for the year ended 31 March 1985 is not yet to hand. Details of the species used in the years ended 31 March 1975 to 31 March 1984 were provided in my reply of 16 April, in column 97, to a question from the hon. Member of East Lothian, (Mr. Home Robertson).

asked the Secretary of Scotland what was the Foresty Commission's forestry enterprise expenditure for each of the last five years on (a) recreation and amenity, (b) wildlife conservation and (c) landscape conservation.

The Forestry Commission's gross expenditure on these items, including oncost and overheads, was as follows:

Year ended 31 MarchRecreation and Amenity £Wildlife Conservation £Landscape Conservation £

asked the Secretary of Scotland if he will list the Official Report the number of sites, their names and their sizes, which comprise the 444 hectares of land estimated to be planted without grant-aid in 1983–84 given in the Forestry Commission's 64th annual report.

This figure is made up from a large number of local estimates of small areas of plantings, and I regret that it is not possible to produce a comprehensive list.

asked the Secretary of Scotland what action he will take to ensure that there is no repetition of the recent case at Crichness Farm in East Lothian where private afforestation was carried out despite refusal of grant-aid on landscape and agricultural grounds.

The planting at Crichness took place while a grant application was still under consideration by the Forestry Commission in consultation with other authorities. Although it is possible that the planting of the area concerned would eventually have been approved for grant aid, the Forestry Commission takes a serious view, which my right hon. Friend shares of the applicant's failure to await the outcome of the consultation exercise. Nevertheless, this is the first significant case of its type since the present procedures were introduced in October 1974, and my right hon. Friend does not propose to take any action at this stage. The Forestry Commission has had discussions with Timber Growers UK aimed at ensuring that the consultation procedures continue to operate effectively.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list in the Official Report the cases in the last 10 years when afforestation has taken place on sites where forestry grants have been refused by the Forestry Commission.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will ask the Forestry Commission to publish guidelines to assist the private sector in introducing good management practice for new afforestation schemes, taking into account wildlife and landscape conservation; and if he will make a statement.

The Forestry Commission has published a number of guides to good forestry practice. A complete list of these is available to private woodland owners from Her Majesty's Stationery Office (Sectional List No. 31).Timber Growers UK is preparing a code of practice for private growers in consultation with the Forestry Commission, the two Countryside Commissions, the Nature Conservancy Council and a number of other interested Government and non-Government bodies.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what consultations there are between the Forestry Commission and the regional water authorities in England and Wales and the river purification boards in Scotland, over proposals for new upland afforestation either by the Forestry Commission or by private forestry operations.

As far as its own operations are concerned, the Forestry Commission has informal arrangements for consulting water authorities over proposed afforestation schemes within the immediate catchments of reservoirs.In considering applications by private owners for grant aid for planting, the commission consults the Welsh water authority on all schemes in areas in which the authority has asked that this be done. In other parts of Wales and in

YearRegionForestBlockArea (hectares)
Creag Dhu Chicken Dhu and Barren Ridge140
Private WoodlandsBorrobol140
ShinNorth Dalchork552
TorrachiltyGarbat and Strathrannoch996
Dumfries and GallowayBareagleAnnabaglish220
Chicken Dhu and Barren Ridge78
Cnoc Dubh13
Dumfries and GallowayBareagleAnnabaglish220
North Annabaglish37
1982No Spraying took place
1983BordersPrivate WoodlandMyredykes340
For experimental purposes only
The areas of Strathy, Truderscaig, Rossal, Syre Chicken Dhu and Barren Ridge in Naver Forest, England, the commission looks to the local authorities to take account of the water interest when considering private planting proposals, as part of their general planning overview.The river purification boards in Scotland are not consulted directly by the commission either in respect of its own or private planting proposals.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list in the Official Report the names, locations and areas of forest sprayed with the insecticide fenitrothion in each of the years 1978 to 1984, indicating which areas were sprayed more than once in this period, and indicating whether any of these areas are within the Forestry Commission's recently announced proposals for fenitrothion spraying in 1985.

The forest areas sprayed with the insecticide fenitrothion in the years 1978 to 1984 are as follows:Annabaglish in Bareagle Forest, Badenloch in Helmsdale Forest and Elchies in Craigellachie Forest were sprayed in more than one year.

The 1985 programme of spraying will not be finally drawn up until assessments of the numbers of eggs of pine beauty moth are carried out in May, but it is likely to include the previously sprayed areas of Truderscaig, Rossal and Cnoc Dubh in Naver Forest, Watten in Rumster Forest, North Dalchork and Inveroykel in Shin Forest and Garbat and Strathrannoch in Torrachilty Forest.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total staff complement of the Forestry Commission in the years 1961, 1971, 1981 and 1984, respectively.

The figures were as follows:

YearNumber of Staff in Post

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals the Forestry Commission has for the revision of the native pinewood grant scheme in the light of the changes proposed for broadleaved woodland grants under the "Broadleaves in Britain Review".

The Forestry Commission has no plans to revise the grant arrangements for native pinewoods in the context of the present review of broadleaves policy. It does, however, intend to review the provisions for native pinewood grants, in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy Council, once the broadleaves review has been completed.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the estimated number of people employed directly in forestry operations by the private sector forestry companies in the years 1961, 1971, 1981 and 1984.

The information is not available in the form requested. Estimates of the numbers employed on forestry operations in private forests as a whole, including employees of the forestry companies, are as follows:

Estimates for 1984 are not yet available.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many dwellings were owned by the Forestry Commission in 1981 and 1984; and how many of these were (a) occupied by Forestry Commission employees, (b) occupied by other tenants and (c) unoccupied in each year.

The best available information is as follows:

As at 31 March 1981As at 31 March 1984
(i) Total number of houses managed by the Forestry Commission (categories (ii) and (iii) below3,9092,891
As at 31 March 1981As at 31 March 1984
(ii) Number of Foresters' and Forest Workers' houses2,3201,597
(iii) Other houses1,5891,294
(iv) Total number of unoccupied houses (mainly awaiting sale)279260
Because of the turnover in tenancies and the large number of sales that have taken place, it is not possible, except at disproportionate cost, to split the total number of unoccupied houses between categories (ii) and (iii) in order to obtain the precise numbers of houses occupied in each of these categories on 31 March in each year.