Mowi Scotland to establish native woodland on Skye - MOWI - Scotland

Mowi Scotland to establish native woodland on Skye

Maol Ban planting design

Mowi Scotland has been granted funding by Scottish Forestry, the Scottish Government agency responsible for forestry policy, support and regulation, following a successful application to establish 102 hectares of native broadleaved woodland on the Isle of Skye.

Mowi operates a number of fish farms on Skye, including at Caol Mor where our three local farms have recently been subject to a successful upgrade and modernisation programme through the installation of fewer, but larger, 160m pens supporting operational efficiencies and improved health and welfare of our salmon.

Mowi also owns the adjacent land, which comprises an open hillside/low ridge on the north side of Loch Ainort, Isle of Skye, lying within the Cuillins Special Protection Area (SPA). By planting native broadleaves, primarily consisting of Native Upland Birch, the woodland will strengthen soil and water, protect and enhance habitat quality and biodiversity with resulting overall benefits to the designated site features of the SPA.

Stephen MacIntyre, Head of Environment at Mowi Scotland, explained: “This is a very exciting and different project for Mowi that will produce real outcomes that support our strategic sustainability programmes and policies on the topics of protecting nature and biodiversity and delivering actions that contribute to tackling climate change.

“The project is also aligned to Scotland’s Forestry Strategy, published by the Scottish Government, which seeks to increase woodland cover and contribute to climate change mitigation by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration.”

It is estimated that the woodland will have the potential to sequestrate 38,616 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 100 years.

Ben Hadfield, COO Mowi Scotland, says: “While the salmon sector and Mowi in particular produce salmon with a relatively low carbon footprint, we are always looking for ways to improve our sustainability profile. We are pleased that the Scottish Government’s commitment to plant more trees has enabled our company to participate in this initiative and at a neutral cost. I want to thank our Environmental Team for their hard work over the past five years to turn the opportunity into reality.”

Following the approval of funding, Mowi is now working with our woodland delivery partner, Galbraith, on a land preparation programme and species planting schedule for commencement of works in 2024.

Click here to view the Maol Ban landscape visualisation.

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