The sturgeon has been called “totally irresponsible”: you are destroying the forests of Scotland! | Sciences | News

Environmental activists have shot at Ms Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP), calling its tree-planting policy “utterly irresponsible”. The SNP has pledged to ‘lead the UK in creating forests’ through massive tree planting, which is key to tackling climate change by absorbing a harmful CEO. But critics say the plans threaten native species.

They were backed by television naturalist Chris Packham, who says harming native trees could worsen a “biodiversity crisis.”

Scotland has the most forests in the UK and Ms Sturgeon plans to increase coverage from 19% to 21% of the country by 2032.

But most of the trees will be fast-growing, non-native species like Sitka spruce, which are typical of timber plantations in the United States.

Environmentalists question the type of trees planted and their proximity to native forests.

Campaigner Audrey Baird told Sky News: ‘My big worry is that we are going to cover our campaign with all this monoculture, this non-native forestry that comes mostly from North America, and it just shouldn’t be here in Scotland. .

“They outperform our old oaks and other native trees, they just take over.

“The seeds are blown away, they enter our ancient and native forest and block all light.

“They kill everything. It’s totally irresponsible and shortsighted.”

Broadcaster Chris Packham told Sky News that the Scottish government’s tree-planting strategy raises issues related to biodiversity and the life of a forest.

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He said: “Old growth doesn’t necessarily mean old trees, it means trees have been around for a long time – established, hardy communities of plants and animals that will continue to thrive if we allow them to do so.

“It’s not just about the trees, it’s about all the fungi underground and the biodiversity that thrives because the trees are there.

“It’s not just a climate crisis, we are also in the middle of a biodiversity crisis. We are losing all this life, we are losing our life, so protecting these ancient forests is absolutely paramount.”

But the Scottish government rejects the allegations.

A spokesperson told Sky News: “Protecting old growth forests is vital and work is underway to achieve it.

“There is no evidence to suggest that old growth forests are lost due to the regeneration of non-native trees in the manner described. The main current threat to our old growth forests is the selective grazing of deer, which tend to prefer hardwoods.

“To tackle the twin crises of climate change and nature loss, we need to plant a balance of mixed forests.

“We need hardwoods to boost the environment and nature and we need evergreens to fight climate change because they trap carbon faster, create jobs and bring in around £ 1billion to the Scottish economy .

“We plant 80% of all UK forests with this balance.

“Sitka spruce is just one of the species planted in forest creation programs in Scotland. We do not allow planting of a single species and proposals are approved to benefit a range of priorities, including people, nature and the environment. economy.”

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