Trees can help to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon. However, in some circumstances forestry operations on deep peats may result in an overall release of carbon due to changes in the soil. Therefore, on deep peats (defined here as soils with a peat layer exceeding 50cms in depth) forest managers should consider the carbon impact of management options alongside other priorities such as timber production, biodiversity and landscape.
This draft supplementary guidance sets out how Forestry Commission Scotland proposes to ensure this is done.
Further advice on managing deep peat clearfell sites will be given in the FCS Background Note ‘Information to support the FCS Forestry on Peatland Habitats supplementary guidance’, which is currently being written in consultation with key stakeholders and in light of trials that FCS is currently undertaking to provide examples of good practice. The Background Note will be available on the FCS website from April 2014.
A summary of the evolving science used to inform this guidance is available on the FCS website.
Why We Are Consulting
This consultation seeks your views on the draft supplementary guidance.
In particular the objectives of this consultation are to get your views on:
how FCS proposes to ensure the carbon impact of management options for afforested deep peat is considered alongside other priorities such as timber production, biodiversity and landscape.
whether the guidance is clear in explaining how FCS proposes to go about this.
whether there are any omissions or unreasonable assumptions in this guidance.
The consultation is aimed at:
forest managers who manage afforested peatland, and agents who act on their behalf;
national interest groups such as environmental non-governmental organizations and industry federations; and statutory advisers to Government.
What Happens Next
Due to extensive informal consultation with key stakeholders in order to write this supplementary guidance, this consultation is open for six weeks rather than twelve.