Woodland Creation forms part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014 - 2020. The SRDP delivers Pillar 2 of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Utilising some £1,326m of European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development funding, plus Scottish Government match funding, it funds economic, environmental and social measures for the benefit of rural Scotland. The SRDP is co-funded by the European Commission and the Scottish Government and reflects the 6 EU Rural Development Priorities. The programme also reflects the Scottish Government National Policy Framework (NPF).
The aim of the Forestry Grant Scheme woodland creation category is to support the creation of new woodlands that will provide a range of economic, environmental and social benefits which include:
- delivery of the Scottish Government target to extend woodland cover by an additional 100,000 hectares over the period of 2012-2022
- climate change mitigation by tackling greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration
- restoration of lost habitats through developing forest habitat networks
- underpinning a sustainable forest industry by providing a reliable timber supply
- protecting the soil and water environment
- providing community benefits through public access
- enhancing urban areas and improving landscapes
- supporting rural development through local businesses and farm diversification
A fundamental consideration when creating new woodland is whether or not the tree species is appropriate to the site. You should carry out an appropriate site based assessment of soil and vegetation to match species choice with the particular site. Forestry Research 'Ecological Site Classification' (ESC) decision support system helps guide forest managers and planners to select ecologically suited species to sites. ESC considers: windiness; temperature; moisture; continentality; soil moisture and soil nutrients. This helps to determine suitability of the chosen species to the site and identifies it as: poor; marginal; suitable or very suitable.
In order to be considered for SRDP grant support the overall suitability for your chosen species must be either 'very suitable' or 'suitable'.
As an initial first step in determining suitability, the polygons in this dataset represent the climatic suitability of the chosen tree species to the site. Climatic suitability, based on ESC uses the following climatic site factors:
- Accumulated temperature
- Moisture deficit
- Exposure (Detailed Aspect Method Scoring [DAMS])
NOTE: This datasets does NOT take into account any soils information.
Any application that is identified on the map as being either 'unsuitable' or 'marginal' may still be considered - but only if you clearly demonstrate that the site is 'suitable' for the chosen species of tree (for example where there is localised shelter in an otherwise exposed location).
The woodland creation category has nine options and the associated aims are:
To create conifer woodlands on land that is suitable for timber production and that is accessible for timber transport (including links to suitable public roads). This option is principally aimed at planting Sitka spruce.
To create conifer woodlands on land that is suitable for timber production and that is accessible for timber transport (including links to suitable public roads). This option is aimed at planting conifer species other than Sitka spruce.
To create broadleaved woodlands on land that is suitable for sawn and prime timber and that is accessible for timber transport (including links to suitable public roads).
'Native Scots Pine'
To create or expand native pinewood priority habitat (NVC) W18
'Native Upland Birch'
The creation of native upland birch woodland of the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) W4: Downy Birch with Purple Moor Grass on shallow peaty soils.
To create native broadleaved priority woodland habitats of the following National Vegetation Classification (NVC) types:
W6 Alder with Stinging Nettle
W7 Alder-Ash with Yellow Pimpernel
W8 Ash, Field maple with Stinging Nettle
W9 Ash, Rowan with Dogs Mercury
W10 Oak (penduculate) with Bluebell Hyacinth
W11 Oak (sessile), Downy Birch with Bluebell/wild Hyacinth
W16 Oak, Birch
W17 Oak (sessile), Downy Birch with Bilberry/Blaeberry
'Native Low Density Broadleaves'
To create specific native woodland or scrub habitats; including areas of ecotones for black grouse, treeline woodlands, juniper and other forms of scrub woodland and wood pasture systems. Normally associated with other woodland habitats in a transitional situation (eg. transition onto open hill: Black Grouse; Montane Scrub).
'Small or Farm Woodland'
To create small scale mixed broadleaved and conifer woodlands on farms and other rural land.
'Native Broadleaves in Northern & Western Isles'
To create native woodlands that contributes to the Orkney, Shetland or Western Isles woodland strategies.
- Suitability - ie. 'Very Suitable', 'Suitable', 'Marginal', 'Unsuitable' or 'Inland Water'