In spring 2023, the Scottish Government called for views on how it should support forestry in Scotland. It was a huge opportunity to ensure funding is prioritised for nature, climate and communities. Thank you to the hundreds of you who joined us in calling for a scheme that brings maximum benefits and helps create a brighter future for everyone.

Did you know?

The future of this scheme is important for all of us as most UK tree planting happens in Scotland.

What is the Forestry Grant Scheme and why is it important?

The current Forestry Grant Scheme offers financial support to help land managers create new woodland and manage existing woodland in Scotland.

Most current grant investment in Scotland focuses on commercial forestry. This approach is good at generating income and providing timber, but it can have lower wildlife value.

We need a grant scheme that prioritises wildlife-rich native woods to boost nature recovery and long-term carbon sequestration and storage.

Quick fact

In 2020, £14m was spent on native woodland expansion. Only £1.6m was spent on managing native woodland.

Woodland management needs better support

Public funding should be targeted to deliver the greatest value for nature, climate and communities. That means more funding for woodland management to restore and enhance ancient woodland - without reducing support for woodland creation.

Responsible management of woodland is vital to the timber industry, nature conservation and local communities. To help tackle the nature and climate crises, we need to make sure the woods in Scotland’s landscape are biodiverse and resilient.

The Forestry Grant Scheme refresh is an opportunity to make sure people on the ground can access the public funding they need to respond to the climate and nature emergency. The refreshed scheme should:

  • enable creation and management of diverse native woodlands which are havens for nature recovery and provide multiple benefits for people
  • include objectives that harness all the benefits of forestry, trees and woods for net zero, biodiversity, community wealth building and the economy
  • incentivise urgent recovery of native woodlands
  • increase support for natural regeneration
  • be supported by:
    • collaborative working across landscapes to enable nature recovery and sustainable land use at scale
    • increased resources for Scottish Forestry to manage the grant scheme
    • urgent investment in sustainable and quality Scottish tree supply.

The future of woodland in Scotland affects us all

Scotland’s woods are iconic. Caledonian pinewoods are home to special species like red squirrel, pine marten and capercaillie. Rainforests dripping in lichens and liverworts are one of the most biodiverse habitats in the UK.

We must expand these woodlands and, in the face of significant threats, urgently protect and restore those we already have. Woodland expansion should buffer and extend existing sites to help nature’s recovery. Our towns and cities, where most people live, need more trees and green space to improve quality of life for everyone.

What’s next?

Along with hundreds of supporters, we’ve submitted responses to the Forestry Grant Scheme consultation to ask for better support for woodland creation and management. We expect Government to respond in the next few months.

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