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Sustainable Management of Forests – Native Woodlands (RP22501A)

This options is not open under 2014 transitional arrangements and has been closed to any new applications since 1st October 2012.


The aim of this Option

This Option aims to help maintain or bring native woodlands into good ecological condition or to help restore plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) to native woodland. Other RP options may also be helpful for supporting management of native woods including WIG, Deer Man, Woodland creation (to extend existing woods)

Native woodlands in Scotland include a range of habitat types that are all UK priority habitats, and some are also European priority types.

Good ecological condition will depend partly on individual woodland character, age and management history; but in general it implies that the wood contains a diversity of structural stages including open ground, and a range of native trees and shrubs and other wildlife species expected for the woodland type.

Management should also be suitable for the ecosystem to be sustained or expanded in future, so that, for example, any threats from non-native species or inappropriate levels of grazing and browsing should be controlled.

Rates of Support

These are Annually Recurrent Grants, the rates of which are shown on the Sustainable Management of Forests 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.
  • 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.
  • You must have an approved Forest Plan for woodland areas over 100 hectares. For woodland areas less than 100 hectares a Management Plan is required at the time of your application.
  • The woodland must be at least 1 hectare in size. Native woods are those with over 50% of the canopy area composed of species native to the site. Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) are defined on the Scottish Ancient Woodlands Inventory. Both native woods and PAWS are mapped in the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland.
  • The net costs of the work, i.e. your total costs minus any income, must exceed the grant payment.
  • We will only approve operations for the number of years remaining in an existing Forest or Management Plan.
  • All your proposed management work must comply with the UK Forestry Standard.
  • You must not be in receipt of any Deer Management grant support provided under Rural Priorities or the previous Scottish Forestry Grants Scheme for the land in your application.

Details you need to provide with your Proposal

Before your Proposal reaches the "Proposal Commit" stage you must provide

  • Management Plan
    For woodland areas less than 100 hectares a Management Plan or a completed Management Plan template
  • Forestry Outcome Plan
    The Forestry Outcome Plan will ask for certain information so that we can assess your proposal. This will include:
  • A summary of the current ecological condition of the woodland and the future condition that you aim to achieve. A list of native woodland attributes is available that shows what to aim for. Further guidance on management planning for native woodlands and how to use data that is available from the Native Woodlands Survey of Scotland (NWSS) can be found on the NWSS web pages
  • NWSS provides in depth relevant information on the structure, species composition, threats and other features of native woods at time of survey
  • A map
    A map that shows the boundary of the area within which you will be carrying out the work.

    You must identify all native woodland areas to UK priority woodland type, including areas of wood pasture and parkland. You can also include areas of ancient woodlands currently dominated by non-native species where you intend to restore towards native woodlands. To ensure you mark your map correctly, please use the Mapping Guidance The Native Woodlands Survey of Scotland is mapping native woods over 0.5ha in size throughout Scotland, and you may use this as a basis for your map, provided you check and adapt it as required. NWSS data is published for each local authority area as the results are analysed. You can check whether data is currently available for your area by visiting the NWSS web pages
  • Indicative Budget
    For each year in which you intend to carry out work, you must provide an indicative budget which includes a breakdown of the management work along with the estimated costs. We will expect you to use competitive rates in your indicative budget.
  • Deer Management Plan
    If you are proposing work to minimise "threats and damage" to the woodland.

Claims and Inspections

The grant for native woodlands work is an Annual Recurrent grant and can be paid for up to 10 years. You must complete the Single Application Form (SAF) to claim this funding.

Read more about making your claim and the deadline dates

Please note that you should keep evidence of actual costs/expenditure of the work you carry out each year so that we may inspect and verify that the costs exceeded the grant that you were paid.

List of links to relevant technical guidance

Further technical guidance for Sustainable Management of Forests

Forest plans

Deer management plan

UK Forestry Standard -$FILE/fcfc001.pdf

Joint Agency Fencing Guidance -

The management of semi-natural woodlands FC Practice Guides 1-8

Bulletin 112

Action for Scotland's Native Woods

NWSS home webpage