Opportunities & Constraints
A wide range of issues will be taken into consideration whilst producing the forest plan, which include but are not restricted to:
There are varying levels of formal and informal public access across the estate from relatively low usage of hill and forest tracks west of the Tay, to high usage levels within Highfield/ Muirward forest near Scone and the 120,000 visitors annually to Scone Palace and it’s policy woodlands.
Existing Core paths, new access routes over the Cross Tay Link Road and proposed new paths from New Scone to the Palace grounds all require consideration and consultation.
The estates forests form an integral part of the local Perthshire landscape with the greatest sensitivities within the Gardens and Designed Landscape surround Scone Palace. Proposals will be carefully designed to ensure that they are not detrimental to the landscape in the long term.
The following designations are present within the estate woodlands:
- Scone Palace Historic Garden and Designed Landscape
- River Tay SAC (including river Almond and other tributary water courses)
- Methven Woods SSSI (part)
Proposals are unlikely to impact designated sites but where necessary specific permissions will be obtained prior to operations taking place on or adjacent to a designated site.
Ancient Woodland Sites (AWS)
A proportion of the estate’s woodland are Ancient Woodland Sites. In total:
- 1000 Ha are Long Established Plantation Origin
- 144 Ha are Ancient Woodland Sites
Our long-term retention and natural reserve proposals are intended to assist with the preservation of AWS.
Red, Roe and Fallow deer are present on the estate and these populations are actively managed to ensure that the wider woodlands, natural regeneration, replanting and new planting can be successfully established and/ or maintained in favourable conditions, along with associated woodland habitats. Use of deer fencing and tree tubes may still be required in the lifetime of the revised forest plan, but we hope to reduce usage where practicable in the years ahead.
The most significant constraints are to ensure that proposals are compatible with the designations/ features listed below.
Scone Palace Historic Garden and Designed Landscape
- SAM 7305 – Colen stone circle
- SAM 7299 – Blindwells stone circle
- SAM7180 – Cambusmichael enclosure
- SAM5641 – Cambusmichael church
- Listed building – HB17921 – Dry Bridge (Cosnakie Wood)
Proposals are unlikely to impact Scheduled Ancient Monuments but where necessary specific permissions will be obtained from Historic Environment Scotland, prior to operations taking place on or adjacent to a designated site. All other known archaeological features or features found during operations will be protected in line with the UKFS Forests and Historic Environment Guidelines 2011.
Whilst the majority of property on the estate has a mains water supply, there remain some domestic and several agricultural and other supplies on private water systems. All such systems will be protected from future forest operations.
Water and Riparian Environment
There are several significant water courses crossing the estate, including the river Tay SAC and its tributaries (Almond, Shochie burn and numerous important smaller water courses).
Forest operations will comply with UKFS Forest & Water Guidelines, with close attention paid to ensuring they do not produce diffuse pollution.
Wetland or peatland habitats will be taken into account as part of the detailed forest design and incorporated into designed open spaces wherever possible.
The following species are present in or adjacent the estate’s woodlands. The retention of areas of non-commercial woodland as Natural Reserves along with phased regeneration of commercial woodlands via Continuous Cover systems, will maintain habitat diversity benefitting these species.
- Red Squirrel
- Bat species
- European otter
- Pine Martin
- European Beaver
- Raptor various
FCS Guidance Note 34: Forest operations and European protected species in Scottish forests will be adhered to.
Pests and Diseases
There has been an increase in the number of pathogens affecting trees in the UK in recent years and the following are or could affect the estate woodlands:
Dothistroma Needle Blight (DNB)
This affects Lodgepole and Scots pine. The estate has very little Lodgepole pine at present but it may feature in future species mixes. Scots pine will be thinned as far as practicable, to increase air movement through pine woodland and reduce the risk of tree mortality.
Hymenoscyphus Fraxineus (Ash dieback disease)
This fungal pathogen is significantly affecting ash trees on the estate impacting local landscape and tree safety. An ongoing programme of remedial works and tree removal is ongoing and expected to continue throughout the life of the revised LTFP.
Dutch Elm Disease
This disease continues to impact the small number of remaining elm trees on the estate. An ongoing programme of remedial works and tree removal is ongoing and expected to continue throughout the life of the revised LTFP.
Phytophthora Ramorum which causes mortality in Larch, has been impacting trees in Perthshire for the last decade, but has not as yet impacted Larch on the estate, although the risk of it doing so given outbreaks in Highland Perthshire in the recent past is deemed “Moderate”.
We do not propose to prejudice existing Larch stands, instead we are thinning wherever possible to increase air movement through larch woodland to reduce the risk of tree mortality.
We will not however include larch species in our restocking or new planting proposals.
Biosecurity measures will be put in place to reduce the risk of disease.
Public roads & timber haulage
The majority of estate woodlands are accessed directly from A and B-class public roads which are approved routes for timber haulage. These are linked by a number of C-class roads which are consultation routes for timber haulage.
Timber harvesting will be carefully managed to ensure that the public roads are not damaged. Prior to harvesting, there will be a discussion with the Perth & Kinross Council roads engineer to agree haulage details, which will include as appropriate:
• The use of tyre pressure control lorries, and maxi tyres.
• Agreed haulage directions.
• The maximum number of loads per day to be extracted.
• Avoiding convoying.
The estate has a good network of existing internal forest tracks, although not all are currently suitable for timber haulage and are likely to require some upgrading prior to timber harvesting. It is not envisaged that extensive road construction within existing woodlands will be required. All necessary permissions will be obtained before work commences.
FSCÒ (C112410) and PEFC (PEFC/16-40-2131) Certification
The estate woodlands are certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and PEFC certification schemes demonstrating the estate’s commitment to sustainable forest management. All operations are carried out in line with the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) and UK Forestry Standard Guidelines (UKFS)
Forest operations are carefully planned to ensure that they are safe, do not damage the environment and minimise disruption to neighbours and the community.
This is achieved by:
• Carefully planning operations and making all involved aware where there are sensitivities.
• Working safely, including employing trained contractors who are members of the Forest Industry Safety Accord.
• Liaising with neighbours to make them aware that operations will be taking place, and address any issues.