The future is “uncertain” for wood supplies in Scotland if leasing proposals from Forestry Commission Scotland are put in place, according to the UK Forest Products Association (UKFPA).

The commission has tabled proposals as part of its consultation on forestry provisions in the Scottish Climate Change Bill which would see 25% of the National Forest estate leased to a single entity for 75 years.

This would pose a threat to Scotland’s wood processing industry by limiting the availability of commercial stocks, UKFPA said. The forests in question “probably account for more than a third of sawlog production in Scotland”, it said.

The association has held talks with Sarah Boyack, shadow cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the environment, and Dr Elaine Murray, shadow minister for rural affairs, on the issue. Ms Boyack has also undertaken a tour of James Callander & Son Ltd’s Abbotshaugh sawmill in Falkirk to learn more about the scale and scope of the Scottish sawmilling industry.

“UKFPA members in Scotland and others are very seriously concerned about these proposals and the impact they could have on wood supply; after all, continuity of wood supply is an essential ingredient for continued business confidence,” said UKFPA president Gordon Callander.

“Without it, the future is uncertain.”