FORESTRY is now a billion-pound industry in Scotland, with the number of jobs in the sector increasing by 50 per cent during the economic downturn, a new report has revealed.
Around 13,500 people were working in forestry and wood processing when the last major survey was done in 2008 – but this rose to almost 20,000 by 2013/14. The new figures show that when forestry jobs linked to tourism and wildlife management are added, the total number of jobs is well over 25,000. A new report this week reveals that Scotland’s forestry sector is a hidden success story and contributing nearly £1 billion to the economy through forest management, timber processing and recreation – a substantial increase from the previous figure of £670 million.
The forestry sector, including tourism and recreation, is also a major employer, supporting 25,000 jobs across Scotland. Many of these jobs are located in rural locations therefore forestry is supporting more fragile economies. The work of the sector is also vital in enabling other key Scottish industries grow, such as in the energy, construction, tourism and potentially biotechnology fields.