The Wildlife & Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 (WANE Act) amended the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 with the aim of reducing the spread of exotic non-native species.
The main issue for foresters is that it may be an offence to allow the spread of certain species into the “wild” without firstly gaining a licence from the statutory nature conservation organisation (SNH).
Importantly “in the wild” includes most woodland and forest. There is a long list of exempt tree species (where a licence wouldn’t be needed). These include, Lodgepole Pine; Sitka Spruce (no surprise there); Corsican Pine etc.
“Non-wild land” would be land actively managed, such as agricultural land, parks, nurseries etc. So WANE Act is unlikley to affect most arboricultural activities.
Guidance can be gained form the FCS’s “Managing invasive and non-native tree species”. Please refer to our downloads page.
Kind regards, Chris Simpson.