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The research reported in this publication was designed to document social, cultural, economic and environmental characteristics of current non-timber forest product gatherer practices and perceptions and explore their implications for forest policy and management.
Collecting wild plant materials and fungi is a valued part of the lives of the people who participated in this project, and the findings reinforce and highlight the popularity of woodland product gathering in Scotland. At the same time, the downward pressure on timber prices and the related need to diversify the economic base of rural areas has led woodland managers and policy makers to consider non-timber forest products as potential sources of revenue and rural development opportunities.
Sustainable forest management places an emphasis on managing forests for a broad range of values and uses. Clearly, then, there is a need to understand contemporary non-timber forest product uses and values in Scotland and how these might be managed in a sustainable manner.