Scotland Performs Update

Scottish Government performance information

National Outcome: We value and enjoy our built environment and protect it and enhance it for future generations

Grants for Woodland Creation and Improvements


  • Woodlands are a vital sustainable natural resource and through the provision of grants, the aim is to encourage the creation of new woodlands and the management of existing woodlands.
  • The budget supports the Scottish Government’s plans to increase the contribution of forestry to the rural economy, as well as contributing to climate change mitigation and delivery of other social and environmental benefits. Continuing investment and economic growth from the sector depends on confidence in the future availability of timber.


  • £40m (the budget was increased from £36m to £40m in 2017-18 to cope with the forecast increase in demand for new planting).
  • Forest Enterprise Scotland have an additional budget of £4.2m for new woodland creation.


  • The grants for woodland creation:
    • Meet targets to increase woodland cover
    • Help mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration
    • Restore 'lost' habitats through developing forest habitat networks
    • Support a sustainable forest industry by providing a reliable timber supply
    • Protect soil and water
    • Provide community benefits through public access
    • Enhance urban areas and improve landscapes
    • Support rural development through local businesses and farm diversification.
  • The grants for existing woodlands:
    • Encourage natural regeneration and benefit priority habitats and species
    • Increase species and structural diversity through low impact silvicultural systems management
    • Contribute to the sustainable management of urban woodlands and improve public access
    • Support the preparation of forest and/or management plans that set out management objectives for the woodland
    • Improve the biodiversity, resilience, and structural diversity of even aged woodlands.

Key partners

  • Forest and land owners across Scotland.


  • Landowners, investors and communities across Scotland work in partnership.
  • Forestry Commission Scotland has seen a marked increase in applications for woodland creation grants for 2017-18.
  • The area to be planted is dependent on the approval of schemes currently being developed, and individual owners’ management decisions.
  • It is anticipated that the additional £4m grant budget allocation will be sufficient to meet anticipated demand - predicted to be around 7,500 hectares.
  • Forest Enterprise Scotland is programmed to establish 650 hectares of new woodland in 2017- 18.

Contribution to National Outcomes

  • Forestry contributes almost £1bn per year to the Scottish economy and supports more than 25,000 full time equivalent jobs.
  • The grants stimulate increased rates of new woodland creation, and the long-term sustainable production of home-grown timber, whilst continuing to support community engagement and ownership and the use of forests for recreation and access.
  • Grants for existing woodlands: improve their landscape design; contribute to their sustainable management; improve public access; and enhance their resilience to the impacts of climate change and pests and diseases.

The project contributes towards other National Outcomes, such as:

  • We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people.
  • We live longer, healthier lives.
  • We live in well-designed, sustainable places where we are able to access the amenities and services we need.


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