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Forestry Grant Scheme Update

15 October 2020

Extra £1m for Woodland Creation on Farms this Year

This additional funding has been provided by the Agricultural Transformation Programme. It aims to help enable planting schemes such as shelterbelts and riparian woodlands to go ahead that might otherwise be too costly to be viable. Projects receiving this funding much be complete by 31 March 2021.

The extra money also means there is still good availability for funding across the woodland creation grant categories for the current year (which runs until 31 March 2021) from the total budget of £48 million. There is currently good availability of grants for 2021/22 across all categories of FGS funding, including Woodland Creation, Woodland Improvement Grants, and Sustainable Management of Forests.

£160 Million Investment in Rural Economy for Green Recovery

An additional £100 million was announced in the Programme for Government for Scottish Forestry to increase new planting over the next five years, alongside £30 million to Forestry and Land Scotland to expand national forests and land.

A further £20 million has also been allocated to increase the supply of young trees and £10 million is available to help farmers and crofters buy new equipment through the Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS).

New Pilot Scheme: Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS)

Ensuring farmers and crofters can play a key role in a green recovery, a new £10 million fund is currently open. The SACGS is a five-week-pilot scheme, offering grants of up to £20,000 for farmers and crofters to purchase new equipment.

The capital items that can be applied for have been chosen for their effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well supporting sustainable farming, by improving land and livestock management.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 11th October 2020.

Harvesting and Processing Funding

Funding for harvesting and processing was increased from £300,000 to £2 million this year. This FGS option aims to support local small-scale harvesting and processing capacity, enabling farmers and forestry businesses to diversify. The additional funding is intended to help businesses adapt and recover from the impact of Covid-19.

There were two application rounds this year, the second of which ended on 30th September. If this budget isn’t all allocated it’s possible there may be a third opportunity to apply for these grants – look out for future announcements.

This article has been published in the Autumn 2020 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.

A native woodland in the background with a double wheeled track leading into it with tussocky grass either side.

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