Scottish Forestry uses Bluesky aerial photomaps to monitor tree health during lockdown
Scottish Forestry, the government agency responsible for forestry policy, support and regulations in Scotland, is using specially commissioned aerial photography to help identify trees in distress. Trees are facing an increased threat due to pests, disease and climate change, and, as a result of social distancing regulations, Scottish Forestry was unable to undertake its usual helicopter inspections. To maintain its survey programme and help keep the forests flourishing, experienced foresters undertook desk-based studies using the latest, high-resolution aerial photography from Bluesky.
Scottish Forestry awarded Bluesky a contract to capture almost 1,400 square kilometres of standard (RGB) aerial imagery together with colour infrared (CIR) photography following a competitive tender process. The data was captured during the summer of 2020 and delivered to Scottish Forestry ready for use in a range of desktop mapping and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software. The Bluesky photography is intended to support a number of applications within Scottish Forestry whilst CIR offers a unique tool to assist with the assessment of the health and state of vegetation. It can also help identify areas of healthy vegetation from non-vegetated areas.