Central belt farmers - find out about forestry grants at Biggar Show

Farmers attending the Biggar Show are encouraged to find out about grants to help cover the cost of woodland creation on their land.

Forestry Commission Scotland will be on site at the show on Saturday 21st July, stand Avenue-B4, to discuss opportunities available to farmers through the Forestry Grant Scheme. 

The Forestry Grant Scheme, which is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP), offers farmers attractive funding opportunities to plant new or manage existing woodlands. Land planted under the Forestry Grant Scheme remains eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme and the income from forestry is tax free.

The scheme offers a valuable opportunity to diversify farm businesses and woodland creation, with additional benefits including, on-farm timber, improving shelter for livestock and bringing underutilised ground into productive use for secure longer-term incomes.

Virginian Harden Scott, Woodland Creation Officer for Forestry Commission Scotland Central Scotland Conservancy, said: We welcome all farmers to stop by and chat to us at the show to find out what they could be eligible for. We can also provide further information on where to go for advice on planning, layout, suitable species choices and grant aid.

“With many concerned about falling incomes in traditional agriculture 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 that.”

Farmers and landowners could receive grants of up to £6,210 per hectare towards the costs of new woodland planting, with monies for fencing and tree protection available in addition to this.  Landowners located within the Central Scotland Green Network Area (stretching from Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east) may also be eligible for a special CSGN uplift contribution of up to £2,500 per hectare, dependent upon location.  It is possible to apply for fencing and planting works to be completed in separate financial years, helping to assist with cashflow.

The scheme is open to applications all year round, providing flexibility to help farmers avoid busier spells such as harvest, calving or lambing periods.

David Buchanan, owner of Newmill Trout and Deer Farm, is already successfully integrating forestry with his existing business in bid to maximise productivity of his holding. Mr Buchanan has been awarded contracts through the FGS including money for planting trees, the CSGN uplift contribution and money for capital items such as fencing, with planting completed in 2018.
He said:  "We were sad to see the departure of our herd of highland cattle which the forest planting replaced but this change of use has hopefully increased the value of the rough pasture used for the plan .The planting has already enhanced the environment and landscape of these fields, and this will only continue to improve for the following decades .

Add to this a tax free income in the future and the saving in man hours looking after cattle and the whole scheme seems to have been a very worthwhile exercise for us at Newmill.

For more information on woodland creation opportunities, please contact Virginia Harden Scott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0300 067 6294.

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 agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  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.