National Forest Land Scheme (NFLS)
Land for communities and affordable housing
National Forest Land is the forests, woods, open land and other property owned by Scottish ministers on behalf of the nation, and managed by Forestry Commission Scotland.
The National Forest Land Scheme gives community organisations, recognised non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and/or appropriate housing bodies the opportunity to buy or lease National Forest Land where they can provide increased public benefits.
Printed copies of the guidance can be ordered from the Publications section of our site.
A model articles of association that may be of use to NFLS applicants is provided by Community Assets (HIE)
For applicants looking to take forward a renewable energy scheme see this additional guidance (PDF 84k).
NFLS progress report
Since the launch of the scheme in 2005 a number of community organisations, housing bodies and Non-Governmental Organisations have successfully bought land under the scheme. This progress report describes those projects in more detail.
NFLS case studies
Three case studies have been produced describing the development of local projects on land bought from FCS under the NFLS. The case studies are:
- Highland Small Community Housing Trust (Ardgael project)
- Broadford and Strath Community Company (Broadford Wood)
- Kilfinan Community Forest Company (Acharossan Forest)
What the scheme covers:
Community Acquisition by purchase or lease
Community Acquisition gives communities the opportunity to buy or lease National Forest Land where they can provide increased public benefits.
Land for Woodland Crofts
Land for woodland crofts gives communities the opportunity to buy National Forest Land in order to create woodland crofts, subject to delivery of public benefits.
Read more about woodland crofts.
Land for Affordable Housing
Land for Affordable Housing allows Registered Social Landlords (housing associations) and other housing bodies to buy National Forest Land to provide affordable housing.
Sponsored Sale of Surplus Land
The Sponsored Sale of Surplus Land gives communities and others the opportunity to buy National Forest Land which is surplus to requirements. Surplus land is land that makes little net contribution to Forestry Commission Scotland’s public policy objectives.
Community leasing for forestry purposes
Community organisations can now lease national forest land for forestry purposes. This broadens the existing leasing option, which was only available for non-forestry purposes such as managing recreation facilities.
Read more about community leasing for forestry purposes.
Local communities can approach Forestry Commission Scotland directly about leasing or acquiring land for community scale developments under the National Forest Land Scheme.
NFLS Application forms
The NFLS Application forms are available in PDF or MS Word format. Note that there is a separate application form for NGOs applying to purchase surplus land.
Details of approved and pending applications
Alternatively, See full details of applications to the National Forest Land Scheme page.