As part of an ongoing programme of work to promote woodland creation in the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) area, Central Scotland Green Network Trust, on behalf of Forestry Commission Scotland, are offering a limited of free Farm Woodland Assessments to landowners in the Central Scotland Green Network Area (covering the Central Belt, across to East Lothian, up into West Fife, parts of Stirling and Ayrshire-see attached map) to help farms and estates identify opportunities for new and existing woodland to support their farm businesses. This work follows on from an initial round of 16 Farm Woodland Assessments, undertaken at the beginning of 2017.
On participating farms, this assessment will consider options for planting new woodlands for the benefit of the whole farm business and its long-term objectives. The report will look at any land parcels which may be suitable for planting and identify the grants available along with the costs and operations required to establish them.
Farm woodland assessments will be undertaken by 31st March 2018, so will provide a valuable opportunity in the period leading up to submission of the Single Application Form, when landowners are reviewing their whole farm business, to identify how new woodland planting could help diversify agricultural businesses and help spread business risks related to current uncertainties surrounding future agricultural support.
The assessments are free and with no obligation attached, although should participants be willing then CSGNT will be looking for volunteers to be the subject of a published case study.
The Forestry Grant Scheme, which is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP), offers farmers attractive funding opportunities to plant new or manage existing woodlands.
Farmers and landowners in the CCSGN area could receive grants of up to £8,710 per hectare towards the costs of new woodland planting, which includes a special CSGN additional contribution of up to £2,500 per hectare. Monies for fencing and tree protection costs are available in addition to this and land planted under the FGS remains eligible for the BPS.