Payments make tree planting another option for agri sector

Small areas of woodland classed as Ecological Focus Areas

Small areas of woodland on farms and crofts will soon attract funding supporting sustainable agriculture under planned changes to legislation.

From November, small woodlands approved under the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) since 2015, can be utilised as Ecological Focus Areas to support farmers’ Greening payments.

The move will encourage farmers, crofters and land managers to increase tree planting, providing environmental benefits including tackling climate change and nature loss.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“Forestry in Scotland is a real success story and this legislative change will mean that tree planting in small areas becomes an attractive option for farmers and crofters.

“This move continues the strong progress towards achieving our tree planting targets by working closely with farmers, forest industries and landowners of all sizes.

“I would encourage stakeholders to explore the multiple benefits of integrating trees into their farm business.” 


Claims can be made from the 2023 claim year and areas planted since 1 January 2015 are eligible to be claimed from 2023.

Scotland’s forests and woodlands cover around 1.45 million hectares, which is 19 per cent of the country’s land area. These forests are home to 172 protected species, generate £1 billion to the economy each year and support 25,000 jobs.

The necessary legislative amendment is subject to Parliamentary approval.


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