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Background Info

The forestry industry, both the Forestry Commission and individual private companies, are currently allowed to damage the environment, roads and property without having to make good the damage they cause. Although operational guidelines exist (e.g. Confederation of Forest Industries' 'Confor' "Stakeholder engagement guidance note 2015"), they are purely voluntary, which regrettably means that those involved in the extraction and transport of timber are not required to comply. They can and do damage roads and verges, they operate during anti-social hours and do not, as a matter of course, liaise with those local communities who are directly affected by their activities.

Councils have no power and no stomach for legal action, meaning that timber hauliers can and do cause damage to private property and the wider environment without having to make good. They are 'a law unto themselves', which must stop!

The Scottish Government needs to enshrine the Confor guidelines into legislation such that the public and the environment are protected from this unscrupulous industry. This needs to happen now before irreparable damage is caused to our roads and local communities.