Young Silver Birch (Betula pendula) woodland. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or


Biomass is a low carbon source of energy, but there’s a risk that bioenergy development may affect land use.

The use of biomass as a low carbon source of energy can play a role in the fight against climate change, but it can have implications for land use.

The bioenergy industry provides opportunities for rural employment and can contribute to a sustainable and dynamic economy in Scotland. Getting bioenergy developments right can help Scotland's nature and landscapes. However they might also have adverse effects. The main impacts are those associated with the production of feedstocks. Bioenergy developments can require imported feedstocks, which may drive land use change overseas, and result in biodiversity impacts.

We advise on the environmental implications of bioenergy, including those arising from the production of feedstocks. Our approach to bioenergy is described in our Position Statement on Bioenergy and the Natural Heritage.

The general context for our position can be found in the Background to our Position Statement on Bioenergy and the Natural Heritage.

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Cecile Smith

07769 642 192

[email protected]