Information

Grant money to businesses for tree planting and securities over planted land: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.


Information requested

1. How many applicants have received grant money from the Scottish Government for the planting of trees?

2. Of the applicants that have received grant money, how many of them were required to provide a security over the planted land to the Scottish Government?

I would like the requested information from the date of the current iteration of the Forestry Grant Scheme (2015) to date. I would like to receive all information relating to businesses, individuals and all other legal entities (e.g. Trusts, LLPs, etc). I would be grateful if these could be reported separately where possible.

Response

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exception under regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (Information not held) applies to some of the information you have requested, as noted below.

Under the Woodland Creation grant elements of the Forestry Grant Scheme:

1. Between the start of the Forestry Grant Scheme in 2015 and 2nd December 2022, 1,678 applicants have received grant funding to create new woodland.

We do not currently hold a breakdown by applicant type.

2. 11 of these applicants have provided, or are in the process of providing, a total of 13 Standard Securities to Scottish Ministers.

Of those 11 applicants providing securities, the breakdown of applicant type is as follows:

Applicant Type

No.

Sole Trader

3

Registered Company

3

Partnership

2

Trusts

1

Other

2


In addition to the Woodland Creation grant elements, the Woodland Improvement grant element’s Restructuring Regeneration option supports restocking and improvement of diversity in existing woodlands, which involves tree planting. Between the start of the Forestry Grant Scheme in 2015 and 2nd December 2022, we have provided funding to 1,198 applicants under this option. Due to the significantly lower funding levels associated with this funding option, we do not require Standard Securities in support of this work.

It should be noted that there may be overlap between the 1,678 Woodland Creation applicants and the 1,198 Restructuring Regeneration applicants, as those landowners who plant new woodland often already have other woodland that they are actively managing by felling timber and replanting.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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