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Woodland Creation - Farmland Premium and Maintenance Payments

Farmland Premium - Rates of Support

Type of Land

£ per hectare per year*

Arable and Improved on Non Less Favoured Area (NLFA)

300

Arable and Improved on disadvantaged areas of the Less Favoured Area (LFA)

230

Arable and Improved on severely disadvantaged areas of LFA

160

Unimproved Land

60

 

 

*Paid as an annually recurrent payment per hectare to cover the loss of agricultural income

 

 

Eligibility criteria - Farmland Premium

  • You must be a farmer and have agricultural land to be eligible for Farmland Premium.
  • The minimum area is 1 hectare.
  • For the two productive conifer woodland options, woods must not be removed for at least 20 years. Payments will be made for 10 years
  • For all other woodland creation options woods must not be removed for at least 30 years. Payments will be made for 15 years

Thinning and felling during the applicable periods

  • Silvicultural thinning during the periods mentioned above is allowed.
  • Felling associated with Short Rotation Forestry and traditional coppicing is also allowed provided it is subsequently restocked by planting or coppice regeneration.
  • Planting on abandoned agricultural land is not eligible for Farmland Premium.

Not eligible for Farmland Premium

  • The following types of land are ineligible for maintenance payments and Farmland Premium:
  • Planting on non-agricultural land including land used to keep horses for recreational or sporting purposes.
  • Planting in existing woodlands, including grazed woodland
  • Land used for Christmas tree growing is ineligible for any Woodland Creation support
  • Public Bodies (not local authorities) cannot claim Farmland Premium or Maintenance

Farmland Premium claim years

The first claim year for Farmland Premium is the same as the one specified for the associated initial planting.

New payment Term from 1st January 2014

Where previously we paid 15 years Farmland Premium, the new payment term of 12 years will apply to those Farmland Premium payments.  Please note that the Draft Schedule of Works, available from the time a Proposal is created, will display a 15 year payment period.  Once the contract is issued we will carry out a variation to reduce the payment term to 12 years. The contract will then be sent for signature.

Planting on agricultural land - Maintenance payment

If you create new woodlands on agricultural land or abandoned agricultural land, you can claim support for tree maintenance following planting.

This will be an annual recurrent payment for a period of 5 years after planting has been completed. In the case of Natural Regeneration the maintenance payment starts in the same year as the Natural Regeneration capital payment. You will need to complete two forms to make your claim: a Single Application Form declaring all your land and any Options on them, and the RP1 form.

Guide to when you can claim Farmland Premium, Maintenance Payment or both.

Questions

   

Eligibility of grant

 

Farmer?

Agricultural Land?

Abandoned Land?

Farmland Premium is applicable

Maintenance is applicable

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

 

 

Claiming under Single Farm Payment scheme (SFPS)

 

 

The position for being able to claim SFPS on afforested land is:

  • There is no longer any form of consolidation under SFPS
  • You can sell or lease surplus SFPS entitlements provided that you adhere to the conditions (including deadlines) that govern such trading
  • Only land afforested for the first time after 31st December 2008 is potentially eligible
  • You must participate in an official (EC or National) afforestation scheme
  • You must not be participating in any early retirement scheme
  • The afforestation project may not involve Christmas trees
  • The ability to use afforested land as SFPS eligible land ceases if you leave or are thrown out of the official scheme
  • SGRPID must be satisfied that the afforested land generated or could have generated an SFPS payment under the 2008 scheme
  • Afforested land upon which SFPS is claimed is not entitled to claim FP at the current rate

Definitions:

Farmer

A farmer is defined as a person who, in respect of all the IACS registered land which they farm in Scotland, derives at least 25% of their income from agricultural activities and devotes an essential part of their working time to agricultural activities.

Agricultural land

Agricultural land means land used for horticulture, fruit growing, arable cropping, seed growing, dairy farming, livestock breeding and keeping, the use of the land as grazing land, meadowland, osier land, market gardens and nursery grounds or the use of woodland where that is ancillary to the use of the land for other agricultural activities. Keeping horses for recreational or sporting purposes and fish farming are not considered to be agricultural activities

Abandoned agricultural land

Land that can be described as agricultural land but which has not been in agricultural use during the last 3 years.

Arable land

Arable land is eligible land which was in an arable crop (or under set aside or lying fallow as part of a normal crop rotation) in one or more years during the 5 years prior to 15 May in the year of submission of the application for aid.

Improved land

Improved land is eligible land (other than arable land) used for grazing where over one-third of the sward comprises, singly or in mixture, ryegrass, cocksfoot or timothy, or land that has been improved by management practices such as liming and top dressing where there is not a significant presence of sensitive plant species indicative of native unimproved grassland.

Unimproved land

eligible land that does not meet either of the definitions above, i.e. comprising both rough grazings (land containing semi-natural vegetation including heath land, heather moor land, bog and rough grassland used or suitable for use as grazing) and in-bye land used for grazing or mowing that is not normally treated with mineral fertiliser or lime and does not constitute improved grassland.

Letting land

Letting land to another person to carry out agricultural activity, where the potential beneficiary retains some responsibility for the management of the land, for example letting land on a grazing licence or short term tenancy for grazing is also considered an agricultural activity.

 

 

Technical Guidance

 

 

More technical guidance may be available to help you with the option you have chosen. This technical guidance is available on the FCS Technical Guidance page