1 May 2019

Farmers invited to learn about woodland creation grants at Ayr show

Farmers attending the Ayr Show are encouraged to find out about grants to help cover the cost of woodland creation on their land.

Scottish Forestry will be on site at the show on Saturday 11th May, in the Food and Craft Marquee, to discuss opportunities available to farmers through the Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS).

Virginian Harden Scott, Woodland Creation Officer for Scottish Forestry, Central Scotland Conservancy, said:

“We welcome all farmers to stop by and chat to us and find out what they could be eligible for. We can also provide further information on where to go for advice on planning, layout, suitable species choices and grant aid.

“With many concerned about uncertainty over future subsidies, landowners are increasingly looking for ways to maximise productivity of their land and diversify incomes.

“Integrating forestry with farming offers valuable opportunities to do just that.”

The Forestry Grant Scheme, which is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP), offers farmers attractive funding opportunities to plant new or manage existing woodlands. Land planted under the scheme remains eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme.

Virginia added;

“The FGS offers a valuable opportunity to maximise business productivity by adding an additional tax free asset to a farm business.

“As well as bringing under-utilised ground into more productive use for secure longer-term incomes, woodland creation brings additional benefits including, on-farm timber, shelter for livestock and biodiversity benefits.”

Farmers and landowners could receive grants of up to £6,210 per hectare towards the costs of new woodland planting, with monies for fencing and tree protection available in addition to this.

Landowners located within the Central Scotland Green Network Area (stretching from Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east) may also be eligible for a special CSGN uplift contribution of up to £2,500 per hectare, dependent upon location.

It is possible to apply for fencing and planting works to be completed in separate financial years, helping to assist with cash-flow.

Farmer Peter Gascoigne has successfully combined forestry with his sheep enterprise, creating an additional tax free asset and helping secure the farm for future generations. Peter said:

“We have reduced livestock numbers by half, at the same time maintaining overall agricultural productivity, replacing the hill sheep with a higher quality lowland breed, and planting lower quality hill ground with commercial forestry, securing the farm for the future”

Better quality in-by land is retained for grazing, with newly planted shelters belts providing animal husbandry benefits.

Peter added;

“Benefits towards animal husbandry as a result of woodland shelter belts outweigh any conversion of agricultural land to trees. “


Notes to editors

  1. On 1st April 2019, the devolution of forestry to Scottish Ministers was completed. With the new arrangements, Forestry Commission Scotland was replaced by a new Scottish Government agency called Scottish Forestry.
  2. Scottish Forestry is responsible for delivering Scottish Ministers’ forestry policy, regulation, grants incentives, technical forestry advice and new cross border arrangements.
  3. www.forestry.gov.scot | www.twitter.com/ScotForestry
  4. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Senior Media Manager, Scottish Forestry Media Office 0131 370 5065 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  5. For more information on woodland creation opportunities, please contact Virginia Harden Scott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0131 370 5334.