The costs of creating and managing woodland varies. The size of the proposed scheme, trees planted, and the purpose of woodland affect costs.
Things to consider:
- design costs: e.g. consultancy fees;
- machinery costs;
- site/ground preparation: ripping or mounding, establishment of low vigour grassy turf;
- planting costs;
- cost of material (seedlings etc): trees from nurseries;
- tree protection: spiral shelter, tube + stake + tie;
- fencing: post and wire, post and rail, rabbit proof, deer proof;
- labour; and
- maintenance and upkeep: e.g. weed-free areas around the trees, replacements for failed trees, deer and rabbit control.
There is funding available to help with costs. Details of forestry options are available in our grants section.
Other benefits and costs to consider
Extra benefits from planting can include shelter, conservation, sport, amenity use and carbon sequestration.
The loss of agricultural production from the land has an associated opportunity cost. You can reduce this by planting less productive land, such as bracken.
Financial impact on land values
You might have concerns over the effects of planting on your land value. Trees and farming can be complementary. You can enhance the capital value of unproductive land by increasing woodland cover. This may depend on your circumstances.
Study into the impact of woodland creation on farm profitability
In 2010, Forestry Commission Scotland commissioned a report looking at the Impact of woodland creation on farm profitablility. This was to give guidance to farmers who are considering establishing woodlands.
The study helps farmers' understand the how planting woods can impact their business. It explores the cost of woodland establishment, maintenance and grants. It also covers agricultural income foregone using 'farm models'. These are based on typical farm types in their land type.
It looks at other benefits (e.g. shelter, sporting, wood fuel and carbon sequestration) and the potential market value of woodland after 10/15 years.
Who can I contact for more information?
- Contact your local Scottish Forestry office.
- The Woodland Trust offers advice and support for those considering farm woodlands.
- The Scottish Agricultural College provides expert advice on all aspects of the SRDP scheme. They can guide you through the process. To discuss SRDP options contact the local Farm Business Service Office.
- The Institute of Chartered Foresters provide information and guidance to the public and industry.
- The Confederation of Forest Industries (ConFor) helps build the market for timber, timber products and forest services.