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This research aimed to assist those responsible for woodland creation in the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) area in identifying landowners and locations which represent the ‘best bets’ for new tree planting. In addition, the research sought to inform on how communication and outreach can be tailored in order to most effectively reach and engage a range of relevant actors, particularly the area’s landowners.


Research objectives

  • Review landowner/land manager typologies with consideration for characteristics which may indicate openness to participating in woodland creation.
  • Run a workshop through which stakeholders already involved in woodland creation in the CSGN area can help to identify target landowners and managers, where they are located, and the best mechanisms and messages to reach and influence their attitudes and behaviours towards woodland creation.
  • Use the workshop to critique existing typologies and tools (including various maps) which may be used to identify opportunities for woodland creation.
  • Develop an action plan for the CSGN area detailing how to frame messages, who to communicate and collaborate with, and what channels to use in order to most effectively drive new woodland creation.

Findings and Recommendations

  • A review of available evidence found that typologies of different land manager types show the general motivations and attitudes of different groups towards woodland creation. Segmentation models use a combination of large surveys and qualitative behavioural data to identify land manager types with some clearer explanatory power around their situations and resources, motivations, values and beliefs affecting their woodland creation decisions.
  • Both socio-economic and attitudinal or values driven behavioural factors are important to understanding land managers’ willingness and intention to plant trees, yet there is little evidence of such factors being considered or applied by policy makers and practitioners.

For more effective engagement within the study area, we recommend that those looking to encourage new woodland creation:

  • Target landowners with marginal land and few development opportunities, those who have previously created woodland with the aid of grant support, and previously untapped landowners with substantial landholdings, such as Local Authorities, Scottish Water, quarry owners and third-sector organisations.
  • Explore the possibility of improving maps designed to identify woodland creation opportunities by incorporating additional influencing features, such as marginal land, utility pathways, fine scale soil characteristics, aerial photography, land ownership boundaries, and Basic Payment Scheme regions.
  • Consider developing a regionally distinct woodland creation initiative, with a distinctive name and identity.
  • Determine whether the contact details for previous woodland creation grant holders can be accessed and used to (re)engage with landowners and managers, given their established interest in woodland creation.
  • Explore currently underused means of communication and engagement such as social media, open forums and use of public spaces (e.g. auction marts).

For more detailed findings and recommendations, see the reports below.


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