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ForestHarvest: non-timber forest products in Scotland



Cultivation and husbandry of NTFPs

At present, pheasant rearing is probably the only active NTFP husbandry technique employed in Scotland. There are, nonetheless, opportunities for boosting the abundance of other NTFP species in woodland habitats by stocking, enrichment planting and habitat modification. These might include (for example):

  • Planting wildflower bulbs
  • Establishing bee colonies on woodland margins
  • Planting fruit bushes (native or non-native) or medicinal plants among the trees
  • Seeding fallen logs with fungal spores for edible wild mushrooms
  • Creating woodland clearings or thinning the canopy to boost habitat and species diversity
Agroforestry systems

Agroforestry is the term used to describe the development or modification of semi-natural woodlands for the production of multiple resources (i.e. not just timber). This is an established discipline that has learned much from traditional woodland management systems around the world. These techniques could potentially be applied to Scottish woodlands, increasing NTFP yield.

Find out more about agroforestry.


Planting trees

Rhododendron - scourge or blessing?

Conservationists see Rhododendron ponticum as a scourge, and do their best to root it out. Foliage gatherers, on the other hand, are making a living from it. Could this species be managed to everyone's benefit? Find out more [PDF].

Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms can be grown on logs such as oak and birch. Several small businesses have been experimenting with shiitake production in Scotland. Find out more from Highland Birchwoods' leaflet, "Growing Shiitake Mushrooms in the Highlands" [PDF].