Grants and regulations

This section contains information on the many grant options available for planting trees and managing woodlands. It also details the regulations that protect the environment and prevent illegal felling.

If you require further information and advice, contact your local Forestry Commission Office.

Forestry Grant Scheme

The Forestry Grant Scheme offers financial support for the creation of new woodland and the sustainable management of existing woodland.

Within the scheme's eight categories, there are a range of support options covering planting, woodland protection, harvesting and more.

Grant options bookletsSummaries of the grant options available can be found in two guidance booklets. These can be downloaded below or acquired from your local Forestry Commission office:


Woodland Creation application guidance

The Woodland Creation Application Guidance document (PDF 798KB) and its Supporting Information document (PDF 1.5MB) should be followed:

  • if you are applying for grant support to create a new woodland.
  • to comply with the Forestry (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 for afforestation.
  • if you are seeking approval for a woodland compensatory planting scheme required as a condition of a planning permission.

Woodland creation essentials

In March 2018 Forestry Commission Scotland held a series of workshops across Scotland in association with the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

The focus of these workshops was to introduce the new woodland creation application process and associated guidance. Woodland Creation Essentials Q&A (62KB PDF) provides a summary of the questions and answers from these events.

Customer charter

This Charter sets out the Customer Service Standards for our handling of Forestry Grant Scheme applications:

Felling licences

If you want to fell trees you may need a felling licence from Forestry Commission Scotland before you start. Information about exemptions, and an application form are available on the felling licences pages.

Regulation of felling and restocking

With the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018 being passed, new regulations concerning felling and restocking are being developed. Whilst remaining as close as possible to the current position, the proposals for new regulations are intended to make the processes more transparent or simpler and to reduce the potential for inappropriate deforestation.

A public consultation on these proposals was held in mid-2018 and once the results of this have been analysed, Regulations will be laid in the Scottish Parliament in order to come into effect on 1 April 2019.

If you have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Environmental Impact Assessment

If you want to plant trees, fell without replanting or construct forest roads or quarries, we need to check your project's environmental impact. If we think it'll have a large impact, you must apply and obtain our formal opinion.

Full details are on the Environmental Impact Assessment page.

From 1 September 2018 all new forest roads and major upgrades to forest roads in excess of 5km, or in excess of 500m on ground with a slope greater than 25°, will require a CAR licence from SEPA. We have produced guidance on pollution control and management of surface water run-off (PDF 160KB) for these specific forestry activities.

UK Forestry Standard Compliance Procedures

The UKFS Compliance Procedures formalise our response to potential breaches of UKFS and what corrective actions or sanctions will be sought from owners or their agents. They set out the process of investigation and a laddered approach to the actions we will take.

These procedures will apply to all FCS approvals and consents, namely Forest Plans, Felling Licences, Forestry Grant Scheme contracts, and EIA consented operations. They will also be applied to illegal felling and non-consented EIA operations. They will not replace existing procedures, but will be undertaken alongside them or where legal procedures do not exist. Non-compliance with the UKFS could result in a warning letter with mitigation measures or the suspension or revocation of permissions.

Land leasing

If you are a farmer or landholders with unused land, you can offer to lease it to Forest Enterprise Scotland (our forest management agency). If the land is suitable, we will establish new productive woodland and hand it back to you at the end of the lease period. Find out more on the Land Leasing page.

Public registers

There are three online public registers:

Register of Grant Schemes

The Register of Grant Schemes details areas and location of applications we receive for creating new woodlands, details of Forest Plan applications and amendments to contracts under the Forestry Grant Scheme.

Register of New Planting and Felling

The Register of New Planting and Felling details the areas and locations of applications we receive for creating new woodlands (includes RDC-RP applications) and for felling trees.

Register of Environmental Impact Assessments

The Register of Environmental Impact Assessments details the decisions we have made when assessing certain forestry projects for their effect on the environment.