Choosing an area to lease and the pre-establishment process

We are inviting farmers, land holders and management companies to come forward with potential lease areas across Scotland for productive woodland creation, based on our woodland creation criteria.

Applications from tenant farmers will be considered when accompanied by permission from the landlord.

Collaborative applications from neighbouring landholders are welcome as long as the areas of land are immediately adjacent and there is a single nominated applicant representing the landholders involved.

These sites will be assessed and scored according to how they meet those criteria and wider Forestry Commission Scotland strategic objectives.

Shortlist of proposed lease areas

After each assessment round, we will draw up a shortlist of proposed lease areas that have potential for cost-effective woodland establishment and enter discussions with potential landlords, without prejudice, with a view to:

  • agreeing heads of terms for a ten-year lease
  • calculating any rental (cash-flow) payable
  • for Option B applications, agreeing business plan cash-flow
  • entering an option agreement for a period of up to two years to work collectively on afforestation proposals and submitting these to the local Forestry Commission Scotland Conservancy for approval
  • carrying out relevant surveys of the lease area to determine suitability for woodland creation e.g. soils and vegetation
  • discussing the proposals with the local community, local Conservancy and other key stakeholders
  • carrying out an environmental impact assessment as required by Forestry Commission Scotland (preference will be given to lease sites that do not require an environmental impact assessment)
  • refining woodland creation proposals including species choice, net plantable area, woodland design, fence lines and schedule of operations; and
  • submitting a forest design plan for the lease area to Forestry Commission Scotland for approval.

Most of this activity will be undertaken by contractors on behalf of Forest Enterprise Scotland, although we may undertake some of the work with our own staff. Our staff will manage principal contracts and liaise with the local community, the landholder and wider stakeholders depending on which route to lease - Option A or Option B - is chosen.

Making an approach for a lease

An indicative approach is outlined below:

Who makes the approach for a lease?Who prepares the forest design plan and delivers the approved scheme?Comments 

Route to Lease Option A:

Farmer or land holder approaches Forest Enterprise Scotland directly.

Suitably qualified contractor appointed by Forest Enterprise Scotland following tender process.

Forest Enterprise Scotland staff may deliver.

Forest Enterprise Scotland will provide professional services for the creation of the forest design plan and the establishment processes. Ideally, these will be delivered by the same contractor or agent. 
It will involve all aspects of the process including, if required, delivery of surveys for an environmental impact assessment.

Forest plans will either be delivered via local forest district planners or by suitably qualified contractors via open competition.

Establishment will be delivered using contractors engaged in our woodland creation framework contract.

 

Route to Lease Option B:

Agent approaches Forest Enterprise Scotland on behalf of farmer or landholder.

Owner’s agent on direct contract to Forest Enterprise Scotland.

Agent presents a fully costed planning and establishment proposal to Forest Enterprise Scotland. This will be assessed against current market tested unit costs to assess best value and contracts will be awarded to deliver those proposals which meet our published criteria.