This website is no longer being updated. Please go to GOV.SCOT

Woodland Creation – Native Woodland Natural Regeneration (RP22301E)

Option closed to applications from 1 January 2014.

From 1 October 2012, we introduced a monthly “clearing” process for all applications with total payments with a value of £20K or more. You can read the full details in the FCS Briefing Note 9.

Aim of this option

The creation of 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 block size is 0.25 hectares in any one year
  • There must be a suitable seed source nearby. Note that areas that are between 50 to 100 metres from the seed source are unlikely to achieve the required density.
  • We will only consider natural regeneration proposals for areas where there is a good prospect of achieving the required density of trees within the contract period
  • The woodland must be comprised of at least 75% species native to the locality.
  • 25% open ground is allowed for management purposes.
  • Variable spacing is permitted but there must be a minimum average stocking density of 1100 trees over the whole stocked area at year 5 or when considered to be established.
  • The average stocking density within any separate area must exceed 300 trees per hectare
  • You must use a claim year that allows time for the natural regeneration to occur; normally this would be five years after the contract approval year.
  • You cannot create woodlands with this option and the mixed conifer/broadleaf option as part of the woodland design
Documents to submit with your proposal
  • Survey
    To show the location of an adequate seed source and where there is any advanced regeneration at sufficient density to show that the minimum average stocking will be achievable within the contract period.
  • 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 give details of any contact you have had with neighbours who might be affected by the proposals.


Before you submit your claim, the regeneration must:

  • average over 0.3m in height
  • be at the minimum average stocking over at least 75% of the grant-aided area
  • be healthy, and in a condition capable of continued growth subject to normal ongoing maintenance operations such as protection from inappropriate grazing by wild or domestic animals.

You must give a map that shows all areas >0.25ha of successful and unsuccessful regeneration. Give the average stocking density for each successful area.


  • We will assess the success of natural regeneration in the fourth year of the contract and agree future management of the site.
  • Where natural regeneration is unlikely to meet the stocking and height requirements, within the contract period we may agree a further 2 year period.
  • If SAC and SSSI woodlands are being expanded then we may agree a further period of up to 5 years.
  • If natural regeneration has not reached the minimum stocking densities by the above time periods, you will be expected to stock the area by planting. Otherwise, we may reclaim the cost of any grant-aided fencing.
  • We will check that any fencing matches the specifications.
  • We will check that '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 may be available to help you with the option you have chosen. This 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 to get 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 SRF for biomass


Standard cost rates for fencing are listed here. Please note that there are different percentage contributions depending on whether you are in an NLFA or 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