Forestry Grant Scheme squirrel control and broadleaf 2019 to 2025: EIR release

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

Information requested

  1. What proportion of the 32,000 hectares of new woodland planted since 2019 consists of broadleaved trees and what proportion of the projected 18,000 hectares to be planted by 2025 will consist of broadleaved trees?
  2. A breakdown of claimants of forestry grant scheme funding for grey squirrel control by land use (e.g. forestry plantation), woodland type (e.g. mixed, broadleaved or conifer) and woodland size.

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 the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested.

The exception which applies is Regulation 10(4)(a), information not held. This exception applies because some of the information requested was not held by Scottish Forestry at the time of your request, as noted below.


Official statistics on the area of woodland creation across the UK are published by Forest Research and available here:

Table 1.13a (New planting by forest type, UK, 2017/18 to 2021/22) provides a breakdown of planting by constituent country and by conifer or broadleaf.


It is not possible to exactly predict the future proportion of broadleaf planting up to 2025, as we have not yet received many of the applications that will contribute to this figure. Therefore, we do not hold the data requested. Under the Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party’s shared policy programme, the current target is to plant at least 4,000 hectares per annum of native woodlands.

We do not analyse our species conservation grant funding against the criteria requested and therefore we do not hold the data requested. However, we do publish data on our species conservation grants and this can be viewed on our Map Viewer by selecting FGS Options and Claims > FGS SMF Species Conservation, or downloaded for analysis via our Open Data Portal – the FGS SMF Species Conservation dataset is available here.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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