New forestry Cabinet Secretary in Scotland

Following Humza Yousaf’s election as First Minister of Scotland, and a Cabinet reshuffle, Mairi Gougeon MSP’s new role of Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands now includes the responsibility of forestry and woodlands. Ms Gougeon was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016 and has previous knowledge of the sector, having been the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment from June 2018 to December 2020.

In 2021, she was promoted to Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, with forestry policy in the remit of the Minister for Environment and Land Reform, Màiri McAllan. This newly-created Cabinet position involves control of the following:

  • cross government co-ordination on islands, including island connectivity
  • land reform and land use
  • food and drink supply chain
  • Scottish Food Agency
  • agriculture
  • fisheries and aquaculture
  • forestry and woodlands, including Forestry and Land Scotland and Scottish Forestry
  • fisheries and aquaculture policy, marine operations and science
  • animal welfare, wildlife management and wildlife crime
  • crofting
  • natural resources and peatland
  • Scottish Land Commission
  • Crown Estate Scotland
  • Royal Botanic Garden


Our Executive Director Louise Simpson wrote to Ms Gougeon after the announcement of her appointment to introduce the Institute, and to encourage future engagement.

Read the letter

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