We're making it easier for you to get planting and reap the benefits by offering financial support through the Forestry Grant Scheme.

Scotland's woodlands are a vital national resource and play an important role in rural development and sustainable land use. Thoughtfully integrated into your rural business, forestry offers many economic and environmental benefits.

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Woodland Creation Guidance

The Woodland Creation Application guidance document and its Supporting Information document should be followed;

  •   if you are applying for a grant to create a new woodland;
  •   to comply with the Forestry (Environmental Impact Assessment)(Scotland) Regulations 2017;
  •   if you are seeking approval for a woodland compensatory planting scheme required as a condition of a planning permission.

Preparing Woodland Creation Applications - a guide for Land Managers

We’ve created a new walk-through guide for Land Managers. This will help you assess whether your land is suitable for tree planting as well as preparing and submitting an application for grant funding. This guide is aimed at non-sensitive, small-scale (<5 hectare) schemes. Depending on scheme complexity and sensitivity, additional steps that are not detailed within this guide may apply.

We have also simplified our Small Woodland Operational Plan to accompany it, which can now be used for all grant options up to five hectares. 

Get funding for your woodland

If you are interested in creating new woodland, why not apply for one of the many grant options available through the Forestry Grant Scheme. Successful applicants to the scheme will receive:

  • an initial planting payment;
  • annual maintenance payments for up to five years (to ensure the best start for your woodland); and
  • capital grant (for ground preparation, fencing and tree protection)

We'll ensure you have all the information you need to plant the right trees in the right places. We can also put you in touch with experienced and qualified forestry agents who can help you get the best returns on the timber or woodfuel markets. 

We also offer loans on the first 20 hectares of new planting proposals. For full details on the Small Woodlands Loan Scheme please see this page.

Knowing what to plant

Before you start your application, it's important to think about what you want from your woodland. Is it for:

  • habitat improvement?
  • sporting use?
  • woodfuel?

Knowing your soil and climate type should also be considered when choosing the best trees to plant. Running a Land Information Search will help you identify current designations and features, and it is essential for any application to the Forestry Grant Scheme.

Think about harvesting

It's a good idea to think about how you'll access and extract your timber. Wood that's tricky to harvest will reduce your profits through increased costs, so you may wish to consider:

  • are the trees accessible? (is the ground on a slope?)
  • will your neighbours be affected?
  • are there fences, powerlines or waterways in the way?

You will need to detail all of this information on your application. Remember: having a clear vision for your woodland from the outset will maximise your return.

How do I apply?

Applications for the Forestry Grant Scheme must be made online through Rural Payments and Services.

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