£3 million for central belt tree planting

Funding for tree planting schemes in the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) area has been trebled as woodland creation activity reaches unprecedented levels.

Currently, around 2,500ha of woodland creation activity, about the same size as East Kilbride, is being planned for this year. If all the projects come to fruition as expected, it will be the highest tree planting level in the area since 1999.

The increase in tree planting activity is largely due to Forestry Commission Scotland promoting the benefits of integrating woodlands into farming and landowning businesses. 

The Central Scotland Green Network area stretches from Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east.

Announcing the increased budget, Rural Affairs Secretary, Fergus Ewing said:

“The CSGN is a key Scottish Government National Development and is regarded as an essential element for Scotland’s long-term economic recovery. The aim is to restore and transform the area’s landscape, making it a better place to live and do business in.

“I am very pleased to see woodland creation activity at such high levels – it is very encouraging news and I congratulate all for the hard work in achieving this. I am especially pleased to note the high level of applications from farmers and landowners wishing to integrate more woodland into their existing businesses to improve their viability.

“We need to keep up this impetus.   I have therefore trebled the funding available for the CSGN contribution and adjusted the grant rates so we can support more applications  and up to 1,000 additional hectares per year.”

Grant support is through the Central Scotland Green Network Contribution, which can be accessed by applicants in the central belt applying to the Forestry Grant Scheme.

New grant rates for the CSGN area have now been set for this year – full details are available http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/images/corporate/pdf/fgs-briefing-note-13.pdf

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. The Forestry Grant Scheme is part of the Scottish Rural Development programme and the 2017/18  budget is £40m – this is proposed to increase to £46m in 2018/19. 
  3. 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.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  5. 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.