MILLIONS of pounds have been pledged towards timber transport projects across Scotland. 

An electric truck trial and a scheme that moves wood by sea are among those to benefit from Scottish Forestry's £2 million investment, which it says will help decarbonise the sector. 

As well the continued funding towards TimberLINK, which transports timber across the Firth of Clyde from Argyll’s forests to wood processors based in Ayrshire, officials have also promised to carry out road improvements and fund Timber Transport Forum project officers. 

Around £800,000 of the total money on offer – the latest from the Strategic Timber Transport Fund – is to kickstart bids for new projects from local authorities and landowners, who have until March 21 to submit their plans.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon, whose portfolio includes forestry, said:“Providing support to the forestry sector to help get its timber to market in a sustainable way is an important investment for the longer-term.

“We are focussing the funding towards projects that contribute towards Net Zero by promoting a modal shift in timber transport, whilst also ensuring rural communities and other road users benefit at the same time.”

The call for new proposals is to support preparatory works and smaller-scale strategic projects. Preparatory work may involve surveys or working up detailed plans to enable future bids.

Welcoming the funding, Neil Stoddart of Creel Maritime, who is managing the three-year electric lorry trial in Scotland, said: “The Net Zero EV HGV demonstrator project has successfully proven both the abilities and also highlighted the challenges associated with transitioning to alternative fuels in the forestry sector.

Forestry Journal: Two electric timber trucks are currently working in Scotland as part of a trial Two electric timber trucks are currently working in Scotland as part of a trial (Image: Supplied)

“To date, the two trial vehicles are performing well and after some teething problems with charging infrastructure, have now settled into robust work patterns – delivering goods and information for the project.”

Aurelia Peddie, commercial and TimberLINK manager, with Associated British Ports, added: “TimberLINK has gone from strength to strength in recent years with the 2,000 tonne MV Runner, chartered by Associated British Ports, shipping in excess of 70,000 tonnes of timber last year. This is good news for decarbonisation and of course the environment as using the ship to transport timber, instead of lorries, avoided around 42,000 tonnes of harmful CO2 being used." 

More information on applying for Strategic Timber Transport Funding can be found on the Scottish Forestry website or by contacting