There is an on-going ambition to increase tree planting across Scotland. The current target is 10,000Ha rising to 15,000Ha a year in the near to medium term. However, the land values and the land needs for other kind of uses, such as farming, present barriers to the success of this project. In 2012, the Scottish Government responded to the recommendations of its Woodland Expansion Advisory Group with an Action Plan. This will inform a more integrated approach to land use and address problems that prevent woodland expansion. This work continues to influence and inform other woodland creation projects in the CSGN.

Woodland expansion is also supported by the Woodland Carbon Code which enables carbon offset planting in Central Scotland.

New Forestry and woodland strategies are available to guide appropriate locations for woodland creation. The strategies that cover the CSGN are: Ayrshire & Arran, Glasgow & Clyde ValleyCentral Scotland ForestEdinburgh & LothiansFife

The following video from FCS shows how woodland creation projects in the CSGN provide a range of opportunities and benefits to local authorities, including biodiversity, community regeneration and emissions reduction.

Short term goals

To encourage more woodland creation, we aim by 2016 to:

• Deliver a CSGN Woodland Creation Action Plan that presents key parts of the Forestry and Woodland Strategies for the CSGN area and analyses the difficulties that the project might face.
• Identify and review new and innovative ways to develop woodland creation within the CSGN area.
• Achieve a step change in the rate of woodland creation (compared to the 2010 baseline).

This work is being taken forward by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) through its CSGN Woodland Creation Programme.

Progress so far

During 2012/13, the CSGN Woodland Creation Programme has:

• Brought together Forest & Woodland Strategy mapping and data for the CSGN area to identify opportunities for woodland expansion.
• Developed new financial support measures for woodland creation throughout the CSGN in the proposed Scottish Rural Development Programme for 2014 - 2020.
• Commissioned a 2010 Baseline Survey to establish the contribution woodland made to CSGN in 2010. In the interim, the 25 year softwood timber forecast for CSGN is now available. 
• Explored the Woodland Carbon Code as a new funding mechanism for woodland creation in the CSGN.
• Promoted new woodland creation and support for forestry at events throughout CSGN.
• Supported a farm forestry survey in the CSGN area to assess the potential for future farm woodland management and woodland expansion.

The CSGN Woodland Creation Programme works to the CSGN Woodland Expansion Steering Group, a technical forestry group formed to offer input to project work. Membership of the group comprises private forestry consultants, woodland advisers, charitable bodies as well as farmer and landowners' representatives.

For more information on the CSGN Woodland Creation Programme contact:

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CSGN Woodland Creation Programme Manager
FCS Central Scotland Conservancy

Our towns and cities are becoming increasingly subject to the influences of climate change. In future we can anticipate warmer, wetter winters and drier hotter summers. As the climate changes, we can expect to see more extreme weather events including, extended hot periods, major increases in maximum temperatures, fewer days of snow and frost and the wettest days of the year are likely to be considerably wetter than at present. This is likely to result increased maintenance issues for the built environment and heightened risk of storm damage and flooding. Urban greening (along with action in the catchments of the rivers that run through our cities) can help moderate the impacts of these changes.

Since 2010, the CSGN Development Fund has supported over 17 urban greening projects which will help us to understand how urban greening and green networks can contribute to climate change adaptation strategies. We have also supported the Scottish Green Roof Forum in producing an information leaflet on green roofs, updating their website and will be helping them to deliver a Sharing Good Practice event with SNH in the near future.

To further encourage urban greening, we aim by 2016 to ensure that:

  • Results from pilot projects in Glasgow and Edinburgh are captured allowing learning from these approaches to be shared across the Network.
  • The Climate Change Adaptation Framework and regional or local Adaptation Strategies and partners to these plans recognise the potential contribution of urban greening to addressing climate change.
  • Demonstration projects are underway to test retrofitting of urban greening solutions (within existing built environments) and new build projects.
  • Learning from the demonstration projects has been disseminated to increase the awareness in the Scottish Government of how implementation of the CSGN can deliver successful adaptation outcomes and has led to recognition in Scottish Government that funding for urban greening is required and support is in development.

This work is being taken forward by the CSGN Support Unit.


The European Floods Directive requires member states to identify areas of significant flood risk and prepare plans for the reduction and management of that risk. Central Scotland contains two major river basins associated with the two major Firths (Clyde and Forth). The development of the CSGN can help address issues of flooding and wetland management associated with these river and coastal systems.

Early effort has been focussed around supporting delivery projects in the Clyde River Basin and Forth Sub-basin District. This has included assessing water corridors and identifying areas where interventions would deliver improvements to river morphology, water quality and create opportunities to improve or create new habitats. Actions are being pursued along the Glazert Water in East Dunbartonshire to remove morphological adaptations that are causing the river to fail the Water Framework Directive. Work is also underway to address the river systems in Ayrshire.

To help improve the water environment in the CSGN area, we aim by 2016 to:

  • Develop 5 improvement schemes to funding application stage.
  • Deliver 10 improvement schemes.
  • Undertake a single catchment green network delivery project in Ayrshire to pilot assessment and delivery methodologies.

This work is being taken forward by the CSGN Support Unit in association with SEPA and other partners.

Our Vision for Central Scotland

‘By 2050, Central Scotland has been transformed into a place where the environment adds value to the economy and where people’s lives are enriched by its quality.’

The Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) will change the face of Central Scotland, by restoring and transforming the landscape of an area stretching from Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east.

The CSGN is a national development within the National Planning Framework which aims to make ‘a significant contribution to Scotland's sustainable economic development’. It involves public agencies and stakeholders working together to align their policies, programmes and actions to achieve a common aim.