Over £2 million is being made available to Scottish landowners and farmers to help them play their part in creating more woodland.
The support is part of Scottish Forestry’s Harvesting and Processing Grant, which will help farmers and foresters buy specialist woodland equipment.
This could range from poly tunnels, seed trays through to mounding equipment, work site welfare units and small scale sawmills for wood processing.
Scottish government's rural economy secretary, Fergus Ewing said forestry had a 'key role' to play in helping the rural economy recover from the Covid-19 crisis.
“Assisting smaller scale businesses to grow and become more resilient is key to achieving these ambitions, and to maintaining livelihoods and creating more job opportunities in remote rural areas.
"This funding supports investment by forestry businesses in new specialised equipment to increase capacity, expand the business and sustain employment," he said.
The funding is made up of £1 million from Defra, £1 million from the Scottish government and £50,000 from the Welsh government.
The Scottish government aims to plant 12,000 hectares of trees and woodlands annually and will increase that to 15,000 hectares per year by 2025.
The UK government’s target is to plant 30,000 hectares a year by 2025.
How does the grant work?
The grant supports investments in three main areas:
• New specialised equipment which will increase the local small-scale harvesting and processing capacity.
• New specialised equipment for forest tree nurseries, including tree seed supply businesses and equipment for afforestation ground preparation projects, including forestry fencing projects.
• Support for the mobile equipment to help forestry businesses or enterprises to adapt and recover from Covid-19.
Grant claims must be made by the end of February of the year following their award, for example, grant claims with a 2020 year must be submitted to Scottish Forestry by the end of March 2021.