‘Protection for Ancient Woodland’ is a devolved matter, and the UK Government’s Housing White Paper does not apply in Scotland, and therefore my SNP colleagues and I will not vote on measures which have no impact on Scotland.
The Scottish Government is streets ahead of Westminster on housing, having abolished the unaffordable Right to Buy, which has allowed the SNP to deliver thousands of new homes available for social rent. Moreover, the Scottish Government are investing over £3 billion over the lifetime of the current Scottish Parliament in affordable homes and if the Scottish Government had built at English rates since 2007 we would have around 20,000 less affordable new build homes right now.
The Scottish Government continue to be committed to maintaining, protecting and enhancing our environment. Scotland was the first country in the world to establish a natural capital asset index (in 2011). Scotland leads the UK on woodland; currently around 83 per cent of woodland planting in the UK takes place in Scotland. We are very lucky in that many of our habitats and wildlife are internationally important.
Scotland’s peatlands, mountain landscapes, coastal cliffs and seas, machair and diversity of woodland ecosystems are exceptional by European standards. These support a fantastic range of species, as well as being key assets for public health and wellbeing. My colleagues in the SNP Scottish Government are working to improve the state of nature across Scotland and to ensure more people draw on its many benefits.
Rest assured that Scotland’s natural heritage is safe in the hands of the SNP Government.