Changes to the planning laws have meant tracks for agricultural use don’t need planning permission, as a result an increasing number of tracks have appeared in glens and upland areas. Sometimes they are relatively discreet all terrain (argo) tracks, but in others they are bulldozed roads which significantly alter the character of the area.
Regeneration schemes across the Highlands have given trees and shrubs a change to re-establish against the persistent pressure of grazing. This regrowth encourages biodiversity and helps slow water running off the land, thus reducing the risk of flooding downstream.
Woodland cover in Scotland is around 18% of the land area. Of this about 90% is timber plantations made up of Sitka spruce and other conifers. Biodiversity within plantations is a fraction of that within native forests.
The carrot crop is Britain’s major root vegetable, producing over 700,000 tonnes of carrots each year from 9,000 hectares. Each year 22 billion carrot seeds are sown in Britain, producing around 100 carrots per year for every member of the population.
The total area of agricultural holdings in Scotland was 5.6 million hectares, equating to 73 per cent of Scotland’s total land area (7.8 million hectares).