As part of a package of measures announced by Scottish Forestry to improve support for woodland creation and forestry in Scotland, the “Forestry Grant Scheme- Agroforestry” option has seen a significant overhaul as a direct result of joint working with agricultural stakeholders within the “Trees on Farms” group. As a result, there are new opportunities for Scottish Farmers to gain access to funding and explore agroforestry on their land.
New Measures In A Nutshell
New key measures introduced to boost agroforestry uptake include:
- 50% increase in the agroforestry grant rate, with support rising from £3,600 per hectare to £5,400 per hectare.
- Funding expanded to cover the planting of native trees for biodiversity, and for the first time the inclusion of planting fruit and nut trees is now funded under this Agroforestry option.
- Increased flexibility around design requirements, including adaptable planting densities.
- Additional protection measures added for trees to facilitate cattle grazing within agroforestry projects (the use of “jaggy” guards is now permitted).
How Agroforestry Can Benefit You And Your Farm
A successful agroforestry project can deliver so many benefits to a farm, as showcased in this FAS video about integrating trees into your farming business. In the video Roger Howison of Parkhill Farm, Newburgh, and expert Stephen Briggs of Whitehall explain how integrating agroforestry into existing farming practices can greatly increase farm productivity (as well as creating both economic and environmental co-benefits).
One example seen at Parkhill is growing arable cereal crops with a secondary inter-row crop of cider apples. There is an interesting range of benefits, and the crops can be managed so they complement each other and create a more resilient business model with diverse income streams.
Another good example is showcased by Andrew and Seonag Barbour from Mains of Fincastle. They have created woodlands to give shelter to their sheep and improve their hill pasture, you can find out more about their story here.
Agroforestry Funding Is Available
To take advantage of this new boost to agroforestry funding and the additional flexibility that’s been built into the funding model, farmers wishing to explore new opportunities for integrating trees into their farms can find details of the renewed Forestry Grant Scheme Agroforestry Option here.
There are also options for funded advisory visits to farmers exploring the idea of planting new trees; for all farming and crofting businesses via Farm Advisory Service Specialist Advice Plans; and specifically for Crofters via the Woodland Trusts’ “Trees for the Crofting Community” initiative, book a visit for the latter here.
Regular events are also delivered by the Integrating Trees Network- a demonstrator network of host farmers and crofters across Scotland who provide an informative and supportive network for those who are considering planting trees, facilitating the sharing of practical knowledge and experience as well as access to expert speakers.
Recent events included two online sessions: Tea and Trees with Crofters, and Riparian Planting: Why and How? With Richard Lockett. Find out more about network events and join forthcoming events, through the network's Eventbrite page.
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