European State Forest Conference

Forestry and Land Scotland were delighted to host EUSTAFOR 23 in the Cairngorms Mountains and Loch Ness areas of the Scottish Highlands where our conference theme was “Working in Partnership at a landscape scale".

7 – 9 June 2023

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About the event

In 2023 it is the honour of Forestry and Land Scotland to host the annual EUSTAFOR conference. EUSTAFOR members are warmly invited to visit the Scottish Highlands to view and discuss sustainable forest management.

The conference will be largely based outside visiting state forests managed by FLS where there will be guided walks and discussions focusing on managing Scottish forests, habitats and recreation in partnership at a landscape scale. Site visits will include the Cairngorm Mountains area and the iconic Loch Ness.

The base for the conference will be Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands and you will enjoy the best of Scottish hospitality and the chance to socialise at evening events. There may even be the chance to try a whisky or two!

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About our hosts

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) are the Scottish Government agency responsible for managing Scotland’s national forests and land.

For 100 years, Scotland’s state forests have provided the country with a rich source of timber. Today, the story is one of diversification – Scotland’s forests are managed by FLS as a productive, recreational and environmental resource.

These are not competing interests. In fact, careful planning at a national and local level, involving communities and partners, is bringing together complementary objectives and helping to shape Scotland’s forests for future generations.

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About the region and conference site visits

During the conference you will visit the Cairngorms Mountains and National Park to hear about the Cairngorms Connect project. This project was established in 2014 and is a partnership of neighbouring land managers working together to restore habitats across 600 square kilometres of the Cairngorms National Park – including Forestry and Land Scotland managed forests.

The partners have a 200-year vision that is unparalleled in its scope, scale and timeframe in the UK. They are working to restore native woodlands to their natural limits, including high-altitude montane woodland; restore peatlands, wetlands and rivers; and build support and understanding locally, nationally and internationally.

Linking all of these sites in this way allowed the partners to work together to develop a habitat restoration programme at a landscape scale. The partnership is an example of effective partnership working at a time when we need to be looking at the bigger picture and working at scale to fight the biodiversity and climate emergencies.

On the second day of the conference we will visit the iconic Loch Ness and look at FLS forest management in what is known as The Great Glen area of Scotland. We will discuss how FLS works with other organisations to manage this landscape and address challenges like the harvesting of large trees on steep ground above nationally important transport infrastructure and the environmental protect of Loch Ness itself.

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