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Woodland Creation - Northern & Western Isles Native Woodland (RP22301G)

This option is open to applications during the 2014 transitional arrangements, subject to State Aid approval.

Please see FCS Briefing Note 9 about Transitional arrangements during 2014.

Aim of this option

To create native (including riparian) woodlands that contribute to the Orkney, Shetland or Western Isles woodland strategies, the native woodland Habitat Action Plan expansion targets or contribute to Forest Habitat Networks.

Rates of Support

These are given on the Woodland Creation page.

Eligibility criteria

  • You must own or lease the land
  • If you are a tenant or contractual licensee, you must discuss the proposed application with your landlord to make sure it does not break the conditions of your tenancy or licence, and submit a Landlord Notification Form with your Proposal. You cannot receive final approval from Scottish Ministers for your Proposal without this form.
  • If you have a tenancy or a licence with less than five years to run you must complete a Landlord Declaration form and ask your Landlord or the landowner to sign the declaration on that form
  • If you are a tenant then you must ensure that you get your landlord's consent before you apply for grant to plant trees under any of the Woodland Creation options. You can download a copy of the Landlord's Consent form
  • You must comply with the UK Forestry Standard
  • The minimum width is 15 metres
  • The minimum eligible area is 0.25 hectare
  • Planting undertaken in the Northern Isles must be restricted to a maximum area of 1 ha per BRN
  • Planting undertaken in the Western Isles must be restricted to a maximum area of 3 ha per BRN
  • The woodland must be comprised of species and provenance appropriate to the site
  • Up to a maximum of 20% mixed broadleaves for additional shelter
  • Up to a maximum of 25% designed open ground is allowed for management purposes
  • Minimum Stocking densities - 3000 trees per hectare at year 5, or when considered to be established, on the planted area (excluding mappable Open Ground).
  • You cannot create woodlands with this option and the mixed conifer/broadleaf option as part of the woodland design
  • There is a presumption against planting on peat >50 cm deep. Any such areas must be mapped as 'other land' and will not be eligible for grant aid.
  • For the Western isles you must undertake a risk assessment to clearly demonstrate the need or otherwise for deer fencing and for any proposed fencing to follow the joint agency fencing guidance

Documents you must submit with your proposal

  • Maps

You must provide the following maps:

  • one that shows the woodland creation model boundary and fence types
  • one that shows individual species (including eligible open space)

For advice on how to mark up your Woodland Creation Map please use the Woodland Creation Mapping guidance. For general mapping guidance and advice on standards and OS copyright please use the Mapping Guidance.

  • Forestry Outcome Plan

The Forestry Outcome Plan will ask for certain information so that we can assess your proposal. This will include:

  • How your proposal contributes to a Native Woodland Habitat Action Plan or Forest Habitat Network
  • How your proposal fits with the Regional Woodland Strategy, if there is one, and the UK Forestry Standard
  • How your woodland will be designed, planted and maintained, your justification for any fencing you require and details of any contact with neighbours about the proposal
  • If applying for Community Woodland Contribution, how the proposal will give the best opportunities for public recreation and how the area will be maintained
  • You must specify the Seed Source zone to prove native woodland provenance
  • You must give details of any contact you have had with neighbours who might be affected by the proposals

Revised payment period for Farmland Premium:

Please see the Farmland Premium Payment web page for important information about revised payment terms under this option for applications approved after 1 January 2014.

Please note that Planning Grant is not available for this option.

Claims and Inspections

You must submit documentary evidence of the provenance of planting stock used with your claim for the capital costs of planting. This should be a Certificate of Local Provenance where the stock has been bought from a nursery, or suitable and appropriate evidence if the stock has been grown from local seed collection.

Initial planting may be inspected once we receive a claim for payment.

We will check that:

  • Planting accords with what was approved in the contract
  • Any fencing matches the specifications
  • 'Farmland Premium areas' are not being used for agricultural activities

If you claim maintenance payment we will inspect the area to ensure that the trees have been adequately maintained and are satisfactorily established* once we get your claim or at any time up to 10 years after planting.

Trees planted on non-agricultural land may be inspected after five years to ensure satisfactory establishment.

* 'satisfactorily established' means that the trees must be present to the minimum stocking densities specified, healthy, and in a condition capable of continued growth given no further weeding but subject to normal ongoing maintenance operations such as protection from inappropriate grazing by wild or domestic animals.

Technical Support

More technical guidance, including advice about the stocking density and required height to qualify for grant payment, how to develop woodland habitat networks, defining local provenance for planting stock etc is available on the Forestry Commission Scotland website Technical Support page.

Additional Information

Some of the following grants can also be claimed with this Option. Click on the links for more details.

Link to page


Community Woodland Contribution

Available if you plant at least 50% of the woodland within 1 km of the homes of 2000 or more people.

You must satisfy additional criteria to be eligible for this contribution.

Farmland Premium

Definitions and eligibility for Farmland Premium payments

If you claim Single Farm Payment scheme on the woodland area then you cannot also claim Farmland Premium.

Short Rotation Forestry

Detailed requirements to grow Short Rotation Forestry for biomass


Standard cost rates for fencing are listed here. Please note that there are different percentage contributions depending on whether you are in a Non Less Favoured Area (NLFA) or Less Favoured Areas (LFA).

List of links to relevant technical guidance

The Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) (Scotland) Regulations 1999

Support for Naturally Regenerated Native Woodland

Support for Juniper Conservation

Support for Short Rotation Forestry

Forestry Commission Bulletin 112, 'Creating New Native Woodlands' (ISBN 0 11 710320 9). This is available to order from Forestry Commission Publications.

Developing native woodland habitat networks

Joint Agency Fencing Guidance