Date published: 9 September, 2018

For recent changes to this guidance, please see the bottom of the page.

Agroforestry can be described as an integrated approach to land management, where trees and agriculture co-exist to provide multiple benefits.

This option provides grant support to help you create small scale woodlands within sheep grazing pasture land (silvopastoral system) or on arable land (silvoarable system). These trees can:

  • provide shelter for livestock
  • provide timber
  • increase biodiversity
  • enhance the landscape
  • contribute to Ecological Focus Areas (in specific situations

This grant has two payment types:

  • a capital grant for initial establishment
  • an annual maintenance grant that is paid for five years

The rate of capital grant you can claim depends on the number of trees that you plant per hectare. Two stocking levels and grant rates are available:

Planting density Initial payment Annual maintenance
400 trees/hectare £3,600/hectare £84/hectare/year
200 trees/hectare £1,860/hectare £48/hectare/year

The rate per hectare has been set to cover:

  • purchase of trees and stakes
  • purchase or construction of appropriate protection
  • planning, site assessment, supervision, ground preparation, and planting
  • contribution to the cost of beating up and weeding

Your application and proposed work must comply with the UK Forestry Standard.

To be eligible for this grant you must own or lease the land the woodland will be created on.

If you are a tenant or contractual licensee, you must:

  • discuss the proposed application with your landlord to make sure it does not break the conditions of your tenancy or licence
  • submit a Landlord's Notification Form with your proposal

If you have a tenancy or a licence with less than five years to run you must

  • complete a Landlord's Declaration Form
  • ask your landlord or the landowner to sign the declaration on that form

The minimum eligible area is 0.25 hectares with a maximum area of fifteen hectares per farm business unit. It must have appropriate soils for productive broad leaved species.

The land you intend to plant with trees, the eligible area, must be permanent grassland pasture, temporary grassland or arable land (Land Capability for Agriculture – Class 1.1 to 4.2 inclusive). Rotational use between temporary grassland and arable use is also eligible.

Exceptionally, land in Classes 5.1-5.3 may be considered where the soils and local climate conditions are suitable for growing productive broadleaved species.

You must have declared the area of eligible land which you intend to enter into this scheme on your previous Single Application Form.

If utilising a silvopastoral regime then only sheep can be used for grazing as the tree protection provided within the grant is not sufficiently robust enough for cattle or other grazing animals. You must not introduce cattle or other grazing animals on to the site for the life of the contract.

If utilising a silvoarable regime with cropping between the rows then any arable crop which is listed in the IACS booklet relevant to the year of claim can be grown. This area of land may also be eligible for EFA Agroforestry (EFSAF).

You must protect all planted trees from grazing by domestic and wild animals.

The land must be available for grazing for the duration of the contract (20 years).

The woodland must be comprised of suitable productive broadleaf trees appropriate for the site, such as:

  • oak
  • sycamore
  • cherry
  • beech
  • birch
  • aspen

Up to 20 per cent of the planted area can be composed of fruit trees or native shrubs species.

If the proposed area is within a Historic Garden and Designed Landscape, as defined by Historic Environment Scotland, then up to ten percent of the planted area can be composed of conifer species appropriate to the locality and distributed across the site.

You must maintain the initial stocking density for the duration of the contract and the trees must be evenly distributed within the application area.

Areas of open ground are not eligible for this grant.

The minimum requirement for protection will be:

  • a vole guard or rabbit spiral attached to the base of the tree and inserted a minimum of five centimetres into the ground
  • where sheep grazing is to take place, a 1.5 metre (minimum) high net cage made from 50 millimetre square weldmesh or similar with a 'cage' diameter of no less than 45 centimetres, supported by two stakes of minimum diameter / cross section of 7.5 centimetres
  • where rotational agroforestry systems are used i.e. alternating between silvopastoral and silvoarable systems on the same land over the contract period then designing the agroforestry rows to allow for suitable harvest of a crop between the rows will be required.

You must commit to 10 years of maintenance to establish the trees.

You must carry out suitable tree pruning and management until the trees are established.

This includes singling of leaders from the second year. Maintaining management, including pruning, will enable both tree establishment and pasture sward to thrive together. The aim of pruning is to get a minimum of four metres of clean stem on the timber producing species.

We need supporting information to help us assess your application. You must give the details listed below using the operational plan template provided.

You must provide details on the following:

  • potential impacts
  • soils and topography
  • ground preparation
  • species choice
  • protection
  • maintenance schedule

Please provide a map that clearly shows the perimeter of the Agroforestry boundary, suitably labelled with the claim year(s) and planting density.

General mapping guidance for the Forestry Grant Scheme

We have set agreed financial budgets for each of the options under the Forestry Grant Scheme.

In order to ensure that we make the most cost effective use of the money available and to meet Scottish Government objectives, we will assess each application using scoring criteria.

The criteria will be written as appropriate to each Forestry Grant Scheme option; please refer to Scoring criteria and clearing process for details.

Each option within your application must meet the threshold score to be considered for approval. In achieving the threshold score, your option must score against each criterion except for additional benefit.

The scores will then be used as the basis for allocating funding on a competitive basis through the Forestry Grant Scheme clearing process.

Delivery of option benefits

1 POINT – for applications that meet the eligibility requirements but do not deliver any of the benefits detailed below.

3 POINTS – for applications that provide one or more of the following in addition to meeting the eligibility requirements:

  • applications that clearly demonstrate silvicultural appropriateness. You should thoroughly assess site conditions and propose the most appropriate management techniques to minimise the impacts to the environment. You should submit an operational plan that indicates ground preparation methods, identifies existing watercourses, detailing any new drainage networks

5 POINTS – for applications that meet one of the three-point criteria above and the criteria below:

  • applications that propose productive broadleaved trees which are appropriate and identified as ‘very suitable’ to the site. Refer to the Ecological Site Classification process to support your decision


Supplementary point – additional benefit

1 POINT – will be awarded, as an additional point, where:

  • applications include a grazing management plan which clearly outlines how the proposed area will be grazed. The plan should include details such as livestock type and numbers, seasonality of grazing or otherwise, specification of tree protection and management (particularly pruning), commensurate with the grazing regime proposed

There are two types of claims for agroforestry: Annual Maintenance and Standard Cost Capital Items. The Annual Maintenance payments will be paid for five years, if you are eligible, and you must claim annually for these on your Single Application Form. All the other woodland creation grants are Standard Cost Capital Items.

You must claim your capital items on the Forestry Grant Scheme manual Standard Costs Capital Items Claim Form but, please, only submit a claim once you have satisfactorily completed the work.

For more information on claims and related forms, see our guidance on claims and payments.

You will be required to keep a diary of time and dates for all maintenance activities. Please retain the diary for checking by our woodland officers.

You should also submit a map to show where the planting has taken place to verify the exact boundaries of the work.

Section Change
Eligible land Birch added to list of trees and guidance added relating to fruit trees and native shrubs.
Expected maintenance regime Small addition to the aim of pruning

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