Forestry Land (North-East Scotland)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th November 1966.

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Photo of Mr James Davidson Mr James Davidson , Aberdeenshire West 12:00 am, 9th November 1966

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will initiate a rural development survey, on the lines of the survey now being carried out in Sutherlandshire, to establish the location and extent of land suitable for forestry development in North-East Scotland.

Photo of Mr Eustace Willis Mr Eustace Willis , Edinburgh East

A survey of part of Upper Aberdeenshire and Upper Banffshire, on similar lines to the survey which is being made in Sutherlandshire, has already begun.

Photo of Mr James Davidson Mr James Davidson , Aberdeenshire West

Is the Minister of State aware that this survey is meeting with an extreme lack of co-operation on the part of many of the landowners concerned; that there are only 18,000 or 20,000 acres of suitable planting land left in reserve, and that even the reduced rate of planting which the Eastern Conservancy is undertaking will give only about four or five years of planting reserve, when those concerned like to bank on six years or more?

Photo of Mr Eustace Willis Mr Eustace Willis , Edinburgh East

I am not aware of hostility on the part of owners. My information is that they have agreed to this survey being undertaken. We are aware of the shortage in the area, and that is why we are taking these steps.

Photo of Mr Robert Maclennan Mr Robert Maclennan , Caithness and Sutherland

Is my hon. Friend aware that the survey being carried out in Sutherlandshire is giving rise to some concern amongst local agriculturists that it is being carried out with a view to determining what land is suitable for afforestation?

Photo of Mr Eustace Willis Mr Eustace Willis , Edinburgh East

Sutherlandshire is rather a different question; the main question is about North-East Scotland.