Natural Capital Accounts for Scotland: Forest Sector Accounts

Research output: Book/Report/Policy Brief/Technical BriefCommissioned report


The aim of this report is to explore the biophysical data sources available to produce spatially disaggregated natural capital accounts for forests and woodlands in Scotland. The motivation is the interest in natural capital accounting across a range of end users and scales, from highly aggregate national level accounts to the small scale such as catchments (as a natural biophysical unit) or individual land holdings (as a natural economic unit). End users across these scales range from national government and agencies, with an interest in determining the sustainability of the sector, to individual land managers for whom accounting may inform decision-making.

A further motivation is to better match data on the supply and demand for the ecosystem services produced by the natural capital assets related to forests and woodlands. These may be important as managers of these assets may have a range of motivations from timber production to recreational opportunities, or forests may be managed to achieve multiple ecosystem service objectives. Spatial disaggregation is an important consideration in this respect, as supply and demand may not be spatially matched, although this will vary across different ecosystem services. For example, different recreational users may demand different facilities or other forest characteristics. As such, demand will vary according to distance from population centres. Other ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and storage may not be spatially sensitive, but optimising woodland for that service could be detrimental to other objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyScottish Government
Number of pages69
Publication statusPrint publication - 9 Nov 2023


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