24 Sep 2019

Landowners encouraged to diversify their business through woodland creation

Landowners across Central Scotland are being invited to an event next month (8 Oct) to explore opportunities for woodland creation that will help maximise business productivity.

Delivered by Soil Association Scotland, on behalf of Scottish Forestry, at the Grey Horse Inn in Balerno, Midlothian, the ‘Making Woodland Work for You’ event  will highlight the benefits of integrating forestry within existing rural businesses

It will give anyone involved in land management the opportunity to hear, first-hand, the benefits of woodland for livestock productivity, as a renewable fuel source and timber crop, and to learn more about the attractive funding opportunities available for woodland creation.

Under the Scottish Rural Development Programme’s Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS), grants are available for up to £6,210 per hectare towards the costs of new woodland planting. Landowners located within Central Scotland may also be eligible for a special uplift contribution of up to £2,500 per hectare, dependent upon location. Additional money may also be available for fencing and protection costs. 

Virginia Harden Scott, Woodland Creation Officer for Scottish Forestry, said:

“Significant opportunities exist for landowners to maximise their business productivity and sustainability by adding value to underproductive/marginal land through tree planting. Many landowners we’ve been working with are already enjoying the benefits of woodland creation, including the natural provision of shelter for their livestock and a means to produce a sustainable fuel.

“With falling incomes in traditional agriculture and 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 this.

“These events are an excellent way for landowners to come and talk to us and find out more about the benefits of woodland creation, and particularly the Forestry Grant Scheme and the application process.”  

The event includes a site visit to nearby Easter Bavelaw Farm, where owners Graham and Becci Barr have recently planted 90,000 trees and are considering management options for existing woodlands.

Speaking about the benefits of woodland creation for their business, Graham Barr said:

“Our forestry project was centred on a block of unproductive hill ground that had little value for livestock farming. The aim was to secure both short and long term diversified income for the farm.  There were also many other benefits, including restricting livestock access to difficult areas; providing shelter; creating and improving riparian wildlife habitats and, of course, capturing and storing carbon.”

The ‘Making Woodland Work for You’ is taking place on Tuesday 8 October at The Grey Horse Inn, Balerno, Midlothian from 12.30–4.30pm. This is a free event being run by Soil Association Scotland on behalf of Central Scotland Conservancy, Scottish Forestry. Booking is essential and can be done online.

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.