"At present Scotland's 1.33 million hectares of woodland - one-third state-owned Forestry Commission, two-thirds private - cover 17 per cent of the country. That compares with only 5 per cent a century ago, but lags well behind the European Union average of 36.3 per cent tree coverage and the world average of 29.6 per cent.

Recent attempts to encourage planting in Scotland have been hampered by the halving of timber prices since the mid-1990s and a complicated system of planting and maintenance grants for landowners, farmers and communities."

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