Woodland Creation – Diverse Conifer
Date published: 6 June, 2018
For recent changes to this guidance, please see the bottom of the page.
Table of Contents
To create conifer woodlands on land that is suitable for timber production and that is accessible for timber transport (including links to suitable public roads).
This option is aimed at planting conifer species other than Sitka spruce.
This option can be applied for as part of the Sheep and Trees initiative grant package.
You must meet all eligibility criteria listed in the Woodland Creation page and:
- you must comply with the UK Forestry Standard
- the minimum planting width is 15 metres
- the minimum block size is two hectares in any one year.
- you must use at least two conifer species, e.g. Scots pine, Douglas fir, Norway spruce and larch
- your application must meet the species composition criteria in the table below
|Composition of diverse conifer woodland|
Minimum stocking density |
on the planted area
at year five (per hectare)
|Main conifer species ||40||75||2,500|
|Other conifer species ||10||40||2,500|
|Native broadleaves or shrubs||5||10||1,100|
|Designed open ground ||0||10||n/a|
 To comply with the UK Forestry Standard, no more than 75 per cent is permitted for a single species, except in small woodlands under 10 hectares or native woods, in line with the UK Forestry Standard.|
 An intimate mixture of conifers is allowed but the choice of species must meet the requirements of 'species selection'. With clear justification from the applicant, Sitka spruce can be used to provide shelter as a nurse crop or for other benefits to aid the establishment of main or other conifer species. In this instance Sitka spruce can make up to no more than 10 per cent of the species it is providing benefit to.
 Within the Pinewood zone the requirement for ‘other conifer species’ in addition to Scots pine may be relaxed, in line with the UK Forestry Standard, if the Scots pine is of a suitable Scottish provenance and planted at a stocking density of 2,500 stems/hectare.
 You must refer to the designed open ground guidance on the general Woodland Creation page to see how designed open ground will apply to your application. For example additional open ground, in excess of the specified percentage, may be permissible depending on the specifics of the site, but will not be eligible for grant support.
 Up to 50 per cent of ‘other conifer’ element can be productive broadleaves at a minimum of 2,500 per hectare stocking density eg 20 ha scheme with 10 ha of main conifer species, 6 ha of other conifer, 2 ha of native broadleaves and 2 ha of open ground, can replace up to 3ha (50 per cent) of other conifer with up to 3 ha of productive broadleaves. Choice of species must meet the requirements of ‘species selection’.
Please note that in order to achieve 100 per cent from the table above you will not be able to select all minimum or all of the maximum values.
As an initial first step in determining whether or not the site is climatically suitable, you should view the Forestry Grant Scheme Climatic Site Suitability folder on the Scottish Forestry Map Viewer page.
Any applications that are not shown as being climatically suitable will only be considered if you can clearly demonstrate that the site is suitable for the chosen species of trees, for example where there is localised shelter in an otherwise exposed location.
As per the eligibility criteria of the Woodland Creation general guidance the tree species must be 'suitable' or 'very suitable' to the site and have the capacity to achieve the following average yield classes across the application area:
- yield class 8 for Scots pine, other pine species and larch
- yield class 12 for Norway spruce, Douglas fir, western red cedar and other conifer species
For all native Scots pine planted within this option, you must provide a suppliers document when submitting an initial planting claim (see example document below). A template is also provided.
As well as entering the quantity of trees and the Master Certificate Number on the supplier's document, you should also include the region of provenance, demonstrating that the trees are suitable for the site. Refer to Scottish Forestry guidance – Seed sources for Planting of Native Trees and Shrubs.
See Forestry Commission Marketing and Supplying Forest Reproductive Materials for further information.
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 criteria but do not deliver any of the benefits below
3 POINTS – for applications that provide one or more of the following in addition to meeting the eligibility requirements:
- applications that will improve an existing afforested landscape by helping to resolve recognised design deficiencies (usually related to the design principles of relative scale and shape)
- applications that help to diversify farm woodland (refer to the Scottish Forestry guidance– The creation of small woodlands on farms)
- applications that demonstrate further diversification by integrating at least one other appropriate Woodland Creation option (see explanation below) within the scheme boundary (but not Sitka spruce)
Example for 3 points
The total area of the other options must equate to at least 10 per cent of the area of the main Diverse Conifer option or the minimum block size for the other option, whichever is the greater.
20 hectares Diverse Conifer x 10 per cent = 2 hectares
20 hectares Diverse Conifer and 2 hectares Broadleaves
Total application = 22 hectares
5 POINTS – for applications that meet one of the three-point criteria above and one or more of the criteria below:
- applications which are significant in scale, that consider the impact of timber transport on public highways and are supported by an ‘agreed route’ for timber transport
- applications that clearly support the aims of National Parks and National Scenic Areas
- applications within one of the Woodlands for Water priority areas, identified as likely to provide multiple benefits for natural flood management and water quality. Select the Forestry Grant Scheme Target and Eligibility Areas folder on the Scottish Forestry Map Viewer to confirm your application meets this requirement
Scale of delivery
1 POINT – for applications between 2 hectares and 4.99 hectares.
3 POINTS – for applications between 5 hectares and 19.99 hectares.
5 POINTS – for applications above 20 hectares.
Delivering better quality
1 POINT – for applications that meet the minimum diversity eligibility criteria for this option, which is:
- 5 per cent native broadleaves and 10 per cent other conifer species
3 POINTS – for applications that deliver more than the minimum diversity eligibility criteria for this option, which is:
- 10 per cent native broadleaves and 10 per cent other conifer species
- 5 per cent native broadleaves and 25 per cent other conifer species
5 POINTS – for applications that deliver the maximum diversity eligibility criteria for this option, which is:
- 10 per cent native broadleaves and 40 per cent other conifer species
Delivery of good practice
1 POINT – for applications which meet the minimum relevant industry standards, but do not deliver any of the benefits detailed below.
3 POINTS – for applications that meet one of the criteria detailed below:
- applications which demonstrate that you have liaised with consultees, communities and neighbours, prior to the scheme being submitted and addressed, where possible, any points they may have raised
5 POINTS – for applications that meet one of the criteria detailed below:
- applications which clearly demonstrate you have thoroughly assessed the site conditions and propose the most appropriate management techniques to minimise the impacts to the environment. This must be beyond what you might be compelled to do within the conditions of the contract or recognised as an industry standard practice
- applications which are community owned, led, or supported and clearly demonstrate the delivery of significant benefits to the local community such as designed landscape
Value for money
Applications where the cost of ancillary eligible capital supporting works, for example fencing, gates, tree shelters, bracken control, are:
1 POINT – for more than 30 per cent of the total capital cost for initial planting.
Example for 1 point
Core capital item:
Initial planting 2 hectares Diverse Conifer = £4,320.
Ancillary capital items:
Deer Fence: 600 metres x £6.80 = £4,080
Deer Gate: 1 x £172 = £172
Rabbit Proofing: 600 metres x £1.52 = £912
Badger Gate: 2 x £64 = £128
Ancillary costs as a percentage of the total costs of initial planting:
£5,292 ÷ £4,320 = 123%
6 POINTS – for less than 30 per cent of the total capital cost for initial planting.
10 POINTS – for less than 10 per cent of the total capital cost for initial planting.
Supplementary point – additional benefit
1 POINT – will be awarded, as an additional point, where:
- applications are in an area identified as ‘preferred’ within the relevant Forestry and Woodland Strategy (or equivalent)
|Eligibility criteria||We've made a minor change to the species selection content|
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