FORESTRY and Land Scotland (FLS) is looking for five new panel members for its Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS).

CATS enables community bodies to take on ownership or lease of public land or buildings on the country’s national forest and land, where the community can make better use of the asset for the benefit of local people. 

Panel members provide independent and impartial advice to FLS on applications, and help to evaluate the benefits and impacts of requests. As well as attending CATS Evaluation Panel meetings up to four times a year, members may also be asked to undertake site visits.

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FLS chief executive Simon Hodgson said: “Scotland’s national forests already deliver a wide range of benefits to communities but successful applications to CATS can strengthen and empower communities and let them deliver more focussed benefits.

“This is a great opportunity to take on an advisory role in furthering community empowerment and is open to enthusiastic, diverse and talented people – professional or non-professional – from across Scotland who have experience in either forestry, economics or communities work.

“If you think you can make a positive contribution to the delivery of CATS, I encourage you to apply.” 

Ideal candidates should be able to offer experience in one or more of: land management; rural development; forestry; sustainable development; renewable energy; community development; business planning and financial management; housing; land reform; conservation.

Panel members are initially appointed for three years (with the possibility of re-appointment) and will be required for up to 10 days per year, for which a daily fee of £250 and reasonable travel expenses will be paid.

Judith Webb, MBE, chair of the CATS Evaluation Panel, said: “We are a truly independent panel committed to providing advice and recommendations to FLS, having considered the full range of benefits and impacts of each application.” 

Requests for information packs and applications – via CV and covering letter – should be submitted to

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Anyone looking to discuss the opportunity in more detail can contact the community asset transfer manager Rebecca Carr on

The closing date for applications is May 17.