We want to help farmers keep sheep on the hills by integrating trees into their business and increasing their farm viability.

Sheep and Trees is a partnership initiative aimed at helping land managers identify the many opportunities woodland creation can bring to support and develop their existing farm enterprises. The initiative is supported by:

  • Scottish Government's Agriculture and Rural Economy Division
  • National Farmers Union Scotland
  • Scottish Forestry
  • National Sheep Association (Scotland)

Illustration of sheep and trees

Boost your business

New woodland planted with clear objectives, designed well and carefully located within hill and upland sheep farms can bring many benefits to your business. It can:

  • provide important shelter and extend outwintering periods;
  • help provide more manageable grazing units;
  • improve farm business productivity - particularly on poorer quality land;
  • retain same flock size while introducing trees as a new crop;
  • significantly improve on-farm access through use of well-planned forest access roads;
  • help to reduce farming costs and maintain income leading to improved net income; and
  • grow into a valuable capital asset, source of timber and future income stream.

What funding is available?

Our Sheep and Trees partners have helped us develop a new funding package for hill and upland farms. The Sheep and Trees Forestry Grant Package brings together two different elements of the Forestry Grant Scheme. Uniquely, it enables you to apply for both a Woodland Creation grant and the Forest Infrastructure grant for the same area at the same time.

This means you'll be able to build access routes to help you get started and then manage your new farm woodland as it grows. It creates an excellent opportunity for you to diversify your business and bring previously unconsidered parts of your farmland into production.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible, you must be continuing to farm a significant part of your farm, whilst planting between 10 and 50 hectares of productive conifer. The package supports integration of land use.

How do I apply?

To apply for the grant package, visit the Forestry Grant Scheme website and select the options for Woodland Creation and Forest Infrastructure. Applications must include the supporting information for both of these options.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with your local conservancy office.

Further information