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Woodland Creation - Native Woodlands (RP22301D)

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 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
  • The woodland must be comprised of native species and provenance appropriate to the site.
  • The woodland must comprise a minimum of 75% and a maximum 90% native species (NBL / SPC) and a minimum 10% to maximum 25% open ground is allowed for management purposes
  • Minimum Stocking densities - 1600 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.

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

Planning Grant availability:

A Planning Grant, available from January 2012, has now been extended to more Woodland Creation Options.

May 2012 changes for all future Proposal Submissions:

  • Farmland Premium in the Native Woodland planting Option will be limited to a maximum of 50 ha/application. It is not permitted to submit larger proposals subdivided into 50ha blocks by claim year.
  • The area cap applies to all proposals that have not reached “Proposal Submit” by 18 May 2012.
  • We are not limiting the amount of Farmland Premium which can be approved in any other WC Options: Example:


Initial Planting Area

Farmland Premium Area

Native Woodland

70 ha

50 ha

Productive Conifer

70 ha

70 ha


140 ha

120 ha


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.

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.

Timing of work and claims with a 2015 claim year:

You must carry out the planting and submit the capital claim by 30th June 2015. In addition, you must submit the Annual Recurrent claim for the 1st year of the associated farmland premium and/or maintenance on the May 2015 SAF.

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 1km 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.

Planting in target areas

If you are planting trees in the Argyll Islands Woodland Partnership area or the Central Scotland Green Network area then increased rates will apply

The higher rate of grant for capital items (initial planting, fences, and gates) is also payable for the three productive planting options on certain sites.

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 Areas (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