Scotland - United Kingdom

StarTree in Scotland: Outputs | Action Research | Events | Stakeholders

Contact: Emma Chapman, Reforesting Scotland | Regional Stakeholder Group & News

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Presenting Action Research in Scotland

  - Developong the Scottish Wild Harvest Association's potential for supporting and promoting NWFP businesses

 - Communication with coppicers

 - Making the Scottish Working Woods label available and attractive for NWFP businesses



About Scotland

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Scotland has a very low proportion of forest cover compared with most of Europe, and much of this is conifer plantations which are harvested by clear-felling.   Forestry management has traditionally focused almost entirely on timber, and more recently has also included amenity, biodiversity and tourism as secondary aims.  However NWFP resource available is relatively small and forest management almost never takes NWFPs into account. Most forestry land holdings are very large, and only 0.1% of the Scottish population owns any forest land. Labour costs are high and the population is mostly urban. As a result of all these factors, most NWFP enterprises involve value-added products, teaching NWFP-related skills, and tourism, rather than bulk raw product, and most NWFPharvesting is done by people who do not own the land on which they are harvesting.

NWFPs which are sold unprocessed include wild mushrooms, moss and bulbs. Among cultivated NWFPs, berries and honey play a part in both the economy and the traditional image of Scotland.  Sport hunting and fishing play a significant role in the economy and the story of Scotland, but land management for hunting in particular may clash with the goals of woodland management and forestry.

There  is limited support for people wishing to set up NWFP businesses, but nevertheless there are many innovative businesses using NWFPs, and also a growing number of people who value NWFPs as part of their lives and livelihoods. In recent decades networks and associations have emerged for people involved in community land ownership, community forestry, land reform, local food, traditional orchards, and wild harvesting in Scotland.

Šumadija & Western Serbia, Serbia

dried herbs 250Contact: Jelena Nedeljković
European Forest Institute

Regional Stakeholder Group & News

29.1% (or 2,252,400 ha) of the total land area of Serbia is covered by forests (National Forest Inventory). State forests cover 53%, and private 47%. In the total forest area, coppice regenerated stands are dominant both in state (51.5%) and private (79.4%) forests (Banković et al. 2009).  The forest sector contributes only 0.19% of the total GDP in Serbia (2012) according to the 2012 Statistical Yearbook.

In Serbia, there are more than 700 plant species that are considered as medicinal and aromatic. Among them, 420 are officially registered as Medicinal Aromatic Plants and 279 species are marketed (Dajić-Stevanović, Ilić, 2006). The most common wild-harvested herbs are St. John’s wort, yarrow, hawthorn, elder, primrose, linden, sweet basil, nettle and balm. Economically, the most important wild mushrooms are ceps and chanterelles. The most important forest fruits are wild bilberries, blackberries, strawberries and rose hips (2008).

In 2006, the total value, without extraction costs, of the berries and plants was 5.47 million EUR while for all mushrooms the total was only around 504,000 EUR. Some authors state that the role and importance of NWFPs has been underestimated by forest authorities and other official institutions and sometimes even ignored when forestry investments are made. One of the reasons for this situation can be the lack of information on the significance and potential of NWFPs.

The total area of the statistical region of Šumadija and Western Serbia is 2,648,300 ha and it encompasses 10 forest areas. Forest area is around 933,770 ha ( or around 35%. Because of the richness in forests, NWFPs collection has a long tradition within the rural population in this region.

Alentejo Region - Portugal

Contact: Margarida Tomé & Luis Fontes, Instituto Superior de Agronomia

Regional Stakeholder Group & News

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Cork, pine nuts and mushrooms from Alentejo multi-purpose forests

This in-depth case study focuses on increasing knowledge to support forest management towards the production of cork, pine nuts and mushrooms in the Alentejo region. The work includes data collection, improving and developing models and testing forest management alternatives.








About Alentejo

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The Alentejo Region has 45% of forest cover, 42% agriculture land and the remaining 13% for other land uses. Therefore it is a very rural area where forests play a very important role. The main forest tree species in the region are: cork oak (45%); holm oak (27%); eucalyptus (16%) and stone pine (6%).

Consequently, more than half of the forest area in this region includes forests which are mainly dedicated to the production of two NWFPs: cork and stone pine. These products are not secondary/side products as is often the case for NWFPs but a significant industry of the region. There is also considerable potential for the production of mushrooms, although there is a lack of knowledge about it. In addition, there is an opportunity to explore the potential  of aromatic / medicinal plants, for example in the 2005 National Forestry Inventory, 25% of holm oak and 13% of cork oak forests had rosemary plants.

Province of Valladolid - Spain

Contact: Juan Antonio Sánchez, Instituto de Restauración y MedioAmbiente S.L.

Regional Stakeholder Group & News

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Models and silvicultural schedules for optimizing the production of cones and nuts for stone pine in the Northern Plateau of Spain


About Valladolid

The province of Valladolid occupies the middle of the Douro river basin, a highland between 650 and 930m above sea level, and the centre of the Spanish Autonomous Region of Castilla y León in central Spain. It is a flat plateau, with its eastern limestone tablelands divided by river valleys.  In the north and west, mainly clayish farmlands have been cultivated (deforested) since pre-Roman cultures, and in the southern part are found sandy plains and dune systems known as “Land of the Pine Forests” that remain mostly woodland, due to their lack of cultivability. Only 18% of the province area is forest land (including heaths and grasslands), only 15% actual forests (124.414 ha), which are mostly pine forests (87,000 ha), especially Mediterranean stone pine (P. pinea, more than 50,000 ha) and maritime pine (P. pinaster). In the limestone plateaux and slopes, Holm and other oaks form coppices (25,000 ha) and woodlands mixed with the pines and several Junipers (5,000 ha), and finally there are 3,000 ha of poplar plantations on the river banks.

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The province capital is the city of Valladolid, where 330,000 of the 520,000 inhabitants of the province live, the industrial and administrative capital of the Autonomous Region of Castilla y León. Agriculture in the province was formerly mostly rain-fed (cereals, legumes), though the irrigation area has increased in the last decades. The main use of forests, especially of the open, airy stone pine forests, is for recreational use by the urban population (including picnics, walking, biking, small game hunting, mushroom and wild asparagus picking). Some thirty kilometres around the town, numerous private forest estates have been transformed to housing areas decades ago. This trend reflects the importance of forest fire prevention in a complex urban-forest interface. The main income for the remaining forest owners is from stone pine cone harvesting, providing more than timber, biomass, grazing or the only recently recovered resin tapping. On the other hand, social conscience exists concerning the fragility of these forest ecosystems growing on the poorest, erosion prone soils of the region.

Catalonia - Spain

Contact: José Antonio Bonet, Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia

Regional Stakeholder Group & News


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Action Research in Catalonia: Exploring the enhancenment of business support for mushrooms enterprises through common learning process with policy makers and SMEs

Currently, the legal framework related to mushroom picking is undergoing changes in Catalonia. This poses challenges for enterprises dealing with mushrooms. They also need new tools and advice to be able to respond to the changes. In February 2015, a workshop was organised where policy makers discussed the matter.

IDCS catalonia 400Models and silvicultural schedules for optimizing the production of cork in Catalonia (Spain)


 Improved mushroom yield models and mushroom-oriented forest management in Catalonia

Data from long-term monitoring plots is being used to identify factors that affect mushroom productivity and the impact of forest thinnings. The possibilities of designing a silvicultural schedule by maximising the joint production of timber and mushrooms is looked into.

About Catalonia


Catalonia is located in the Northeastern edge of the Iberian Peninsula. 60% of its area is covered by forests (1,3 million hectares), of which 78% are privately owned, 14% belong to municipalities, 5% to the regional government and 3% to rural communities. Forest types range from coastal forests dominated by Aleppo pine, stone pine and cork oak forests, to the continental formations of Scots and black pine and other types of oaks, beech forests in some humid massifs, to the alpine-type of ecosystems in the Pyrenees.

The main challenge forests face here are wildfires, followed by damages caused by wind or snow storms, as well as pests. These forests have been managed traditionally promoting timber and fuel wood extraction, but in the last 40 years forest management has considerably decreased.

Nevertheless, timber is not the only relevant product from forests in Catalonia. Here there is a strong tradition in cork extraction and processing, collection of pine nuts, chestnuts, truffles and mushrooms although limited to specific areas and representing a minor percentage of the forest area in Catalonia. In summer specialised workers extract -without damaging the tree- the cork layer of these oaks every 14 years; cork annual extraction amounts to 1700 tonnes (MIMAM, 2011). 280 tones of pine nuts (MIMAM, 2011) are collected yearly by specialised workers during the wintertime. In that season truffles are also harvested using a trained dog, generally in Holm oak plantations, amounting to 4000 kg (MIMAM, 2011). Chestnuts are picked by the forest owner for commercial purposes, but in more recent years, recreationists also collect chestnuts for personal consumption. Mushrooms and their related gastronomy are rooted in the Catalan culture. The CERES (2008) establishes that in 2008, 30% of the Catalan population goes mushroom picking at least twice in the season, of which 500,000 people go more often. For 2010, 9000 tons of edible mushrooms were commercialised (MIMAM, 2011).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonst ration under grant agreement No. 311919

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  • Last Modified: Thursday 12 September 2019, 10:37.