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Volume 227: debated on Monday 28 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assistance he is giving to develop the second wood of Caledon; and if he will make a statement on progress to date.

[holding answer 18 June 1993]: Special grants are available under the Forestry Commission's woodland grant scheme to encourage the creation of new native pinewoods and the regeneration and management of existing ones. Some 4,200 hectares of native pinewoods have been established under the scheme since 1989.The Forestry Commission also has a programme to restore and extend native pinewoods on its own estate. By the end of the decade it aims to have protected the 3,000 hectares of existing native pinewoods and extended them by creating regeneration zones of a further 3,000 hectares.A Caledonian pinewood register is being compiled by the commission. When completed at the end of the year this will record details of all genetically sustainable pinewoods recognised as genuinely native and will provide the basis for future conservation work. Other recent developments by the commission in this area include the setting up of a native woodlands advisory panel to advise on ways of stimulating and encouraging initiatives intended to promote the establishment and management of native woodlands in the Highlands; the appointment of two full-time advisers on native woodland silviculture; and the launch of a Highland birchwoods initiative to restore and extend the birchwoods and to promote their sustainable management for timber production and conservation.