There are several sources of help and advice available to anyone thinking of planting new woodland or managing an existing one in the Forest area. Click on highlighted names for links to some of their Web Sites.
GENERAL WOODLAND ADVICE - is available from:
MORE SPECIALISED ADVICE - is available on the following topics:
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE - for woodland projects is available from several Government sources. The Government helps private landowners to plant and manage woodlands because of the public benefits they deliver, such as job creation, timber production, recreation, shelter, landscape enhancement and nature conservation. The main sources are:
The Woodland Grant Scheme (WGS) The WGS makes grants to help landowners:
WGS - establishment grants include a basic grant to help with the costs of planting new woodlands, and various "supplements" to help planting in certain areas, on certain types of land, or of certain types of woodland. The woodland improvement, management and regeneration grants are tailored to suit different projects with different primary objectives. Most woodland projects in the Forest are undertaken with WGS assistance. Further information about the Woodland Grant Scheme is available from FA Conservancy offices, CSCT or woodland agents.
The Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (FWPS) - The FWPS makes annual payments to farmers who take land out of agricultural production to plant it in trees with WGS assistance. These payments are intended to compensate them for the loss of farming income. The payments vary according to the type of land planted - the maximum is £300 per hectare per year on land eligible for Arable Area Payment Scheme (AAPS) payments outside Less-Favoured Areas. They continue for 10 years if most of the planting is conifers, and 15 years if most is broadleaves. Further information about the FWPS is available from SERAD, FC Conservancy offices, CSCT, SAC's Farm Woodlands Unit, or woodland agents.
The Countryside Premium Scheme (CPS) - Amenity tree and hedgerow planting on farms can be eligible for assistance from the new CPS, a package of incentives from SERAD to encourage environmentally sensitive farming. An environmental "audit" of the farm is required, and the application should detail the measures proposed to protect or enhance identified habitats. Applications are judged against a set of agreed local environmental priorities - and against one another if the scheme is over-subscribed. Further information is available from SERAD, FWAG or SAC.
Set-Aside Set-Aside Arable (cropping) land can be planted in trees and still count towards a farmer's Set-Aside entitlement. However, it will not receive AAPS payments because it will attract WGS and FWPS payments instead, and FWPS payments are restricted to current Set-Aside limits. Further information is available from CSCT, SERAD, SAC, woodland agents and agricultural advisors.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) grants SNH may grant aid, by up to 50 per cent of agreed costs, small amenity plantings that do not qualify for WGS assistance, that demonstrate wide public benefit, and that are not subject to planning conditions. Further information is available from SNH Area Offices.