Boosts to rural tree planting in Scotland and Wales

A bumper month for payouts from Scotland's Forestry Grant Scheme will see £6.5 million paid out to fund 1,200 hectares of new broadleaf and conifer woodland.

Image: Cairngorms Business Partnership (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Cairngorms Business Partnership (CC BY 2.0)

The amount is over twice the amount awarded in any previous month under the scheme, which launched last year. It will fund projects ranging from a large native woodland scheme in Knoydart in the West Highlands, to productive, sustainable conifer schemes in Perthshire, Argyll and the Scottish Borders.

Announcing the news at the Scottish Government's second forestry summit, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing said: "To generate further growth we need to get more trees in the ground, and this latest grant funding is a significant government investment towards this goal."

He added: "We want to speed up and streamline approval processes for sustainable planting schemes. New woodland creation will help strengthen forestry's contribution to our rural economy as well as helping to meet our climate change targets."

Meanwhile Snowdonia National Park Authority and the Woodland Trust have launched a new grant scheme for landowners to plant trees in open ground within the park's boundaries.

The scheme offers up to 10 trees per property, all UK sourced and grown, with a choice of oak, hawthorn, rowan, small-leaved lime or Scots pine for dry land, or black poplar or oak for wetland, and includes a £40 contribution towards stockproofing.

SNPA ecosystem and climate change officer Gethin Davies said: "Parkland trees are usually very large, ancient trees in areas of open grasslands and heathland, but unfortunately they are slowly disappearing - mainly as a result of ageing, which leaves the trees more susceptible to storm damage and diseases.

"This new grant scheme aims to encourage landowners to plant new trees which will eventually replace these ancient trees, whilst providing shelter for livestock, breeding areas for birds, migration corridors for bats, and opportunities to recycle nutrients by providing habitats for fungi, lichens, mosses and invertebrates which are dependent on old trees and rotting wood."

For more information or to apply for a grant, contact the Agriculture and Woodland Section, Snowdonia National Park Authority, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd, LL48 6LF, 01766 770274.

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