§ Mr. FLEMING
asked the Secretary for Scotland what acreage has been planted up to date at Inverliver; what species of trees have been used, and in what proportions; what numbers of trees have been bought in from the United Kingdom, from foreign countries, and what numbers have been raised in the Inverliver nursery; what is the average cost per acre for plants and planting, fencing, and draining; what is the total cost of all work done, including management and London expenses; what is the estimated amount of the damage done to the young trees by game; are the sporting rights let, and, if so, what rent is got for them; how many crofters or other agricultural occupiers were there on the estate before His Majesty's Government acquired the property, how many there are now, and how many men now receive regular employment on the property?73W
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
(1) The area planted since the purchase of the estate by the Crown is about 546 acres. (2) The trees planted have been entirely conifers, principally larch and spruce, with Scots pine, silver fir, Douglas fir, and Sitka spruce. (3) The numbers of trees planted in the new plantations up to the present time are as follows:—
For the nursery 900,000 seedlings have been purchased in the United Kingdom and 240,000 from abroad.(4) The average cost to 31st Match last per acre planted is as follows:—
Transplanted trees purchased in the United Kingdom 1,061,000 Do. removed from nursery (including plants raised from seed and those purchased as seedlings) 785,440 Total 1,846,440
Plants (including value of plants removed from the nursery and freight) £2 10 7 Preparation of ground and planting 1 5 1 Draining 10 0
The figures for plants and planting are, however, incomplete as further expenditure has to be incurred in replacing trees which have failed, and the expenditure on preparation of ground and draining covers a small area not yet planted. The cost of fencing of plantations per acre planted cannot be stated as the fencing encloses a larger area than that planted and is removed from time to time. The cost up to 31st March last of fencing of land to be planted amounted to about £700.
(5.) The total afforestation expenditure since the purchase of the estate up to 31st March, 1912, was £8,969 12s. 4d. This includes £2,470 5s. 9d. expended on the erection and improvement of buildings, and also the cost of local management and supervision by the Consulting Forester, but no part of the salaries of the clerical staff in London, as there is no special department dealing solely with the estate.74W
(6.) The approximate total cost of damage done to the young trees by black and ground game is £277, exclusive of; supervision, but including the cost of replanting not yet carried out.
(7.) The sporting rights over the estate with a furnished shooting lodge and other buildings are let at a rent of £406 2s. 8d. per annum. For several years an abatement of £50 per annum has been made from the rent.
(8.) There was only one crofter on the I estate at the time of the purchase, and the; croft is now held by her successor.
There were also four sheep farms and a small holding. The interest of the tenant of the small holding was bought up and the part of the land not required by the Crown thrown into the adjoining farm. A small croft has recently been enclosed and assigned to one of the men employed on the estate as part of his emoluments. The total number regularly employed by the Crown on the estate (including four boys) is eighteen, in addition to the local forester and two women engaged as caretakers of the bothies. Two other men who work on a local steamer in the summer are employed in forestry work during the winter.