Scottish Forestry has introduced long-awaited Cultivation Guidance. Announced in July it became live on 1st October 2021. The guidance is designed to minimise soil disturbance and therefore release of soil carbon. As a result there is a strong presumption against the use of ploughing. Those applicants who are in the implementation stage of their woodland creation projects (and therefore have approval to plough prior to the guidance going live) have until 31st March 2022 to complete ploughing operations. Further information is given in the article titled Scottish Forestry Aims to Sink Carbon Emissions During Woodland Creation on page 14.
Stocking Density Updates
Scottish Forestry are running a pilot project to gather stocking densities on established FGS woodland creation projects. Selected contract holders with planting claim years of 2015-2017 have been contacted and required to undertake stocking density assessments, providing the information to Scottish Forestry by 30 November. If the pilot is successful this method of Scottish Forestry obtaining stocking densities will be rolled out across all FGS customers.
Claiming Gorse and Bracken
If you are claiming gorse removal grant it must be claimed in the same year as, AND on the same claim for as, the Initial Planting grant.
The claim year for bracken spraying can be no more than one year before the Initial Planting claim year, and it cannot be claimed after the Initial Planting grant has been claimed.
In September an additional £1m was put into WIG – Habitats and Species grants and WIG – Low Impact Silvicutural Systems grants, for the 2021 claim year. This allows eligible work which can be completed and claimed by 31 March 2022 to go ahead. Applicants with grant claim years of 2022 for these categories can bring their work forward to the 2021 claim year if they wish; discuss this possibility with your local conservancy staff.
All budget categories (apart from Restructuring Regeneration) have good headroom for both the remainder of 2021, and 2022. Grant is no longer available for Restructuring Regeneration in 2021, but has good headroom for 2022.
Felling Permission Mandates
If you are using an agent to submit your Felling Permission application they must be mandated by you. Updated mandates are now available online.
Scottish Forestry’s FGS updates mentioned here can be found in Briefing Note 38 and 39, available here.
This article has been published in the Autumn 2021 edition of the Farm Woodland News. Download a copy to access all articles. Subscribe to receive newly published editions via email by using the form here.
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