Earl of Dalkeith
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) when he received the Report and Recommendations of the Windblow Action Group on gale damage in Scottish forests; and whether he will make an early statement indicating the action he will take;
(2) whether he will deal urgently with the implementation of the recommendations of the Windblow Action Group; and when action will commence.
§ Mr. Ross
I received the Report of the Windblow Action Group about three weeks ago and I have since received the Forestry Commission's advice on it. Some of the Group's recommendations would entail expenditure of Government money; these will take a little time to explore thoroughly, but I fully appreciate the need for an early decision.
Meanwhile we are urging all Government Departments, local authorities and wood-using industries to give preference to home-grown timber whenever possible in the next two years. We are also appealing to private woodland owners to exercise restraint in felling while the windblown timber is being marketed, and the Forestry Commission will itself give a lead in this direction.