Timber hauliers in Scotland are to benefit from £4m in funding that will go towards new haulage routes, passing places and decarbonising the forestry sector.

Around seven million tonnes of timber is transported from Scotland’s forests to sawmills and processing plants and the funding announced by the Strategic Timber Transport Fund will support the industry in finding ways to manage this effectively, whilst minimising the effects on communities.

Transport projects in Argyllshire, Perthshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Scottish Borders, Ayrshire and the Highlands will all share in the funding.

Mairi Gougeon, rural affairs secretary, said: “Our forestry sector has an important part to play in reaching Net Zero.

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“I am pleased that the Scottish government and local authorities are continuing to provide support to help the industry decarbonise, whilst also improving local transport networks. That is good for our forestry industry, strengthening its ability to get timber to market.

“But it is also good news for rural communities which are regularly affected by timber wagons using the same routes that local people use too. With road widening works, diversionary roads and more passing places, communities will be less affected.”

Decarbonising projects include investing £945,000 to support the TimberLINK service, which enables 70,000 tonnes of timber to be moved by sea each year on the west coast of Scotland.