Trees are a key feature of the landscape of Stirling and Clackmannanshire. They enhance the biodiversity and cultural heritage of the area and make significant contributions to the local economy. Woodland also provides the backdrop to a number of popular recreation and tourism hubs located within the area. These include Gartmorn Dam Country Park and Nature Reserve, Carron Valley forest and reservoir, the Ochil Hills Woodland Park and Balquihidderock.
While the quality of the natural environment is one of Stirling and Clackmannanshire's principle assets, an analysis of the integrated habitat network data for the area highlighted the fragmented nature of its woodland habitats. It was felt that a more proactive and targeted approach to woodland management was needed to improve habitat connectivity and to ensure the creation of new woodland in optimum areas.
CSFT commissioned a consultant to audit and assess all council owned woodlands larger than 1ha and selected, privately owned woodlands larger than 3ha. The aim was to identify priority areas for action and to highlight opportunities to make better use of woodland resources.
A seminar was held for key stakeholders to highlight the benefits of appropriate management of woodland resources and the funding streams available to maximise these benefits. A workshop was also held to demonstrate woodland management techniques and the tools and machinery needed for the extraction and processing of the timber crop.
Key woodlands in the project area were mapped spatially using a Geographical Information System and inventories were devised to give details of the current status of the woodland resource. This information was then used to develop a comprehensive framework for the management of woodland resources in Stirling and Clackmannanshire.
The Clackmannanshire and Stirling Working Woodland Framework provides a strategic vision for future woodland management. It will be used to guide future investment and will complement council strategies, such as the Local Development Plan, Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, Access Strategy, Trees & Woodland Strategy and Local Biodiversity Action Plan.
As a result of this project, there is a greater understanding of the value of woodlands and the multiple benefits they can deliver in terms of:
It is hoped that this will lead to a more positive and productive management of locally important areas of woodland and that new models of management and ownership will be considered.
This project sought to highlight and maximize the positive contribution that woodlands can make in achieving the objectives of the CSGN. Specifically in terms of carbon capture, enhancing biodiversity, promoting active travel and healthier life styles, and exploring opportunities for green skills development.
The Working Woodlands Framework is being used to influence the management of woodland resources in Stirling and Clackmannanshire and, a new Woodland and Forest Strategy for the area is due to be published in 2013.
|2011||CSGN Development Fund||45,000|