Woodland creation events at Ardoch Farm

The Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT), on behalf of Forestry Commission Scotland, is hosting two half-day farm-based walk and talk events in October and November offering Lanarkshire landowners an opportunity to find out more about integrating forestry within their existing business. 

The first event, hosted at Ardoch and Threepland Farms, offers landowners and those advising landowners the chance to see existing woodland creation projects on-site and hear, first hand, the benefits of integrating forestry with farming to help diversify income and maximise productivity of their land.

Under the Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS), farmers across the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) area can receive grants of up to £8,710 per hectare towards the cost of new woodland planting, which includes a special CSGN additional contribution of up to £2,500 per hectare, with monies for fencing and tree protection available in addition to this.

Iain MacDonald, owner of Ardoch and Threepland Farms, received grants from the FGS and is already seeing the benefits of integrating farming with forestry. He said: “The woodlands originally helped keep the cows out of difficult terrain during calving and now prevent sheep from hiding in inaccessible parts of fields during gathering, which has reduced the resources required and has increased the value of previously unproductive ground.

“Without question, the planting of woodland has been a big success and has benefited the overall running of our sheep enterprise.”

The Forestry Grant Scheme can help to diversify farm businesses through tree planting which can provide additional benefits such as on farm timber, improving shelter for livestock and bringing underutilised ground into productive use for secure longer-term incomes. Land planted under the FGS remains eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme and in most circumstances the income from forestry is tax free.

Between October 2015 and 1st August 2017, 168 woodland creation projects worth £14.1m have been approved within the CSGN area. The CSGN area covers Ayrshire, the Central Belt, East Lothian, West Fife and parts of Stirling.

Virginia Harden Scott, Woodland Creation Development Officer at CSGNT, said: “With traditional agriculture facing challenging times and uncertainty over future subsidies, landowners are increasingly looking for ways to maximise productivity of their land and diversify incomes. Integrating forestry with farming offers valuable opportunities to do just this.

“These events are an opportunity for landowners to come and talk to us and find out more about the Forestry Grant Scheme, the application process and what the benefits are of integrating forestry into rural businesses.” 

For more information on woodland creation and upcoming events, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/woodland-creation-and-rural-business-diversification-tickets-37095838652, or contact Virginia Harden Scott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

EVENT DETAILS Date: Thursday 5th October / November date tbc Time: 12.30 – 16.30 Venue: Ardoch and Threepland Farms

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  3. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6508 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.