The Central Scotland Forest is the name given to the new-look landscape being created between Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Pentland Hills and the Campsie Fells through the planting of millions of trees and many other environmental improvements.
This 1600-square kilometre (620-square-mile) "forest" will NOT be a vast blanket of trees, but an attractive, multi-purpose environment of woodland and farmland, towns and villages, shelterbelts and hedgerows, and lochs and reservoirs.
The development target is to achieve a total of 34,000 hectares (84,000 acres) of woodland in the area by the year 2015, doubling the 17,000ha (32,000 acres) recorded in the last official survey from 11 per cent to 22 per cent of the area.
This transformation of landscape will support economic regeneration and enhance the quality of life for all who live and work in the area, which bears the environmental, social and economic scars of decades of mining and heavy engineering industries. Development pressure in the area is high and the countryside is generally degraded through lack of investment.
The area includes the whole of the West Lothian, North Lanarkshire and Falkirk Council areas and parts of South Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire.
Many people and organisations are involved, led by the Central Scotland Countryside Trust (CSCT), centrally based in Shotts, North Lanarkshire.
The Central Scotland Forest Strategy, produced by CSCT in 1995 and adopted by all its "formal" partners, sets out the vision for the Forest and how the partnership plans its development. The Strategy has been widely recognised as one the best strategic planning documents of its type, and is available, for £12.50, from CSCT.
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