Scottish govt relaxes woodland creation requirements

Up to £1000 in woodland creation, management and conservation support is now available to farmers without a prior ILMP
Up to £1000 in woodland creation, management and conservation support is now available to farmers without a prior ILMP

The Scottish government has lifted requirements to complete an Integrated Land Management Plan (ILMP) prior to accessing funding support for woodland creation.

Scottish farmers and crofters are able to apply for up to £1,000 funding through the Farm Advisory Service (FAS), to enlist the help of a specialist adviser to help with woodland creation.

The adviser works with the land manager to add value to under-productive land by reviewing farm-specific opportunities and financial incentives available to create or manage woodland.

This includes identifying the most suitable grants and assistance packages that farmers and crofters can use to optimise the use and value of their land.



Lyn White, of the Scottish Forestry, said that the Scottish government's announcement was a 'fantastic opportunity' for land managers.

She told farmers to receive professional advice and discuss objectives around creating new woodlands, whether it be for shelter for livestock, habitat for wildlife, helping to reduce carbon footprint or future income from timber sales.



"There are a wide range of forestry grant scheme options to choose from so practical informative advice is key to getting the right tree in the right place," Ms White said.

The Scottish government has set a target to increase woodland cover in Scotland from around 19% to 21% of the land area by 2032.

The new woodlands aim to absorb and store carbon and provide a range of environmental, economic and social benefits.

Scottish farmers and landowners have been told to call 0300 323 0161 or email advice@fas.scot for more information.