If the land area covered by your proposed forestry project is over the area threshold for that type of project, then you must apply for a screening opinion from Scottish Forestry (SF) to see if our consent is required before you can begin work.

The process for getting our opinion and what happens next is outlined below.

Find out if you need our consent to start work

Complete the Screening Opinion Request Form:

Send it to SF with:

  • a map or plan sufficient to identify the land where the project is proposed and the extent of the project (use a clear Ordnance Survey map at a scale of 1:10,000 or 1:2,500);
  • a description of the proposed work;
  • a description of the environment likely to be significantly affected by the project, and any proposed measure envisaged to avoid or prevent significant adverse effects on the environment; and
  • other information that might be relevant, e.g. an issues log providing a record of your journey through the application process, considerations and any action taken to provide a basis for stakeholder engagement and discussions with the Woodland Officer.

Note you can also send us a copy of your grant scheme or felling permission application with a map.  For more detail on what is required when seeking a screening opinion refer to Schedule 2 – Screening Selection Criteria.

Woodland Creation Processing Agreement (WCPA)

SF recommends the use of a WCPA for all woodland creation proposals requiring our consent under The Forestry (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017. The WCPA sets out the key stages involved in determining a major woodland creation proposal, identifying what is required from those involved and setting realistic timescales for the delivery of the various stages of the process.

When you can expect our decision

We can only make a decision when we have all the relevant information and we might ask you for more information in addition to that you have already given us.

The regulations require that we make our decision within 28 days of receiving all the relevant information but we might ask you to agree to a longer period.

If consent is NOT required

If our consent is not required then you can start work or we will continue to process your application for grant aid / felling permission in the normal way.

If consent IS required

If our consent is required, you must submit an application for consent if you wish to proceed with the work. Your application must include an EIA Report.

How long the opinion decision lasts

Any decision that we make about whether or not you need consent for the proposed project work lasts for a period of five years, or any shorter period that we specify.