August Update: Mackinnon Review

Lake and Trees

A review of forestry planting approval procedures was undertaken in Scotland last year by Jim Mackinnon CBE. The review aims to reduce the complexity, duration and cost of tree planting applications.

Mackinnon Review – Comms Lines for Delivery Reference Group


At the Delivery Reference Group meeting (DRG) on Friday 16th June it was agreed that a Comms statement will be agreed at every DRG.  This statement will be approximately one paragraph in length and will be used by DRG members and their respective organisations to update their staff and interest groups on Mackinnon review progress.

These statements will form part of the Mackinnon Comms plan.


To increase the recognition and understanding of activity that has taken place to deliver the recommendations of the Mackinnon report.


These communications lines are intended for the following audiences:

  • DRG members (representatives from ICF, UKFPA, Confor, LINK, SNH, SEPA) to share with their respective audiences
  • FCS/FES staff updates


The Comms lines will be presented to the Mackinnon Project Board (which takes place monthly and approximately 1 week prior to DRG meetings) and amends may be made by the Board.  This will then be included in the DRG papers issued prior to the DRG group meeting.  DRG group members will have the opportunity to comment/agree amendments at the DRG meeting where the final lines will be signed off.

Group members and FCS will then be able to use these agreed lines for communication purposes.

August 2017 – Communications Lines

Work to implement the recommendations of the Mackinnon review continues apace.  Further intense activity has been undertaken by FCS and partner organisations to reduce the complexity and cost of the tree planting approval process.

Jim Mackinnon came for an update on progress with implementation in July and was very positive about what he saw and how the developments are building on his recommendations and adding value. In particular he commended the promotional materials that have been produced.

Introducing a more regional approach to woodland creation has progressed on two fronts: initial discussions have taken place with four local authorities in the South of Scotland to explore the potential for a strategic, regional approach to larger scale woodland creation, including the Cabinet Secretary meeting with councillors and officials. In addition, further work has identified  the woodland creation potential at conservancy level across Scotland to help monitor and adapt activity to deliver the national target of 10,000ha.

Work continues in developing the concept of an accredited agent system. To date, the working group has reached a good level of consensus on the general approach, focusing on a process which will identify and recognise individuals who are competent in specific activities associated with woodland creation. The group is currently testing and exploring the detail of how such a system will work in practice and is due to meet next in early September.

Further information visit: Forestry Commission Scotland

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