Woodland Creation – Small or Farm Woodland
Date published: 28 November, 2023
For recent changes to this guidance, please see the bottom of the page.
Table of Contents
The aim of this scheme is to create standalone, discrete small-scale mixed broadleaved and conifer woodlands on farms and other rural land. The new small woodlands should not adjoin other woodland creation options.
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 individual new woodland creation block size is 0.25 hectares
- a business is only eligible to apply for up to 10 hectares of this woodland creation small or farm woodland option in the period of the current Scottish Rural Development Programme
- the maximum size for an individual woodland creation block is five hectares
- your application must meet the species composition criteria in the table below
This option can be applied for in association with other woodland creation options so long as they are not adjoining.
Additionally, future woodland creation applications, for any woodland creation option, cannot adjoin these newly created small woodlands as creating a ‘larger’ woodland area is not in keeping with the objectives of this option.
|Composition of small or farm woodland|
Minimum stocking density |
on the planted area
at year five (per hectare)
|Broadleaves suitable for timber production||0||60||2,500|
|Diverse conifer ||20||60||2,500|
|Native broadleaves or shrubs ||5||30||1,100|
|Designed open ground ||0||10||n/a|
 Up to 10 per cent of the ‘diverse conifer’ species area can be Sitka spruce if the applicant can clearly demonstrate that it will provide shelter or other benefits to aid the establishment of the diverse conifers.|
 Up to 20 per cent of the native broadleaves can be native woody shrubs.
 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.
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 minimum average yield classes across the application area:
- yield class 6 for broadleaves suitable for timber production
- yield class 8 for Scots pine and larch
- yield class 12 for Norway spruce, western red cedar and other conifer species
For all native trees 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.
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 help to enhance and diversify a farmed landscapes
- applications that clearly identify, in the woodland creation operational plan, the opportunities and ‘cumulative benefits’ that will be delivered by the type of woodland planting being proposed (refer to the Scottish Forestry Guidance - Scottsh Forestry - Planning your tree planting
5 POINTS - for applications that meet one of the three point criteria above and the criteria below:
- 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 'Target Woodlands for Water' layer within the 'FGS 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 0.25 hectares and 0.99 hectares.
3 POINTS – for applications between 1 hectare and 1.99 hectares.
5 POINTS – for applications above 2 hectares.
Delivering better quality
1 POINT – for applications that meet the minimum diversity eligibility criteria for this option, which is:
- a minimum 5 per cent native broadleaves suitable and a minimum 20 per cent diverse conifer
3 POINTS – for applications that deliver more than the minimum diversity eligibility criteria for this option, which is:
- a minimum 10 per cent native broadleaves and a minimum of 2 or more diverse conifer species
5 POINTS – for applications that deliver the maximum diversity eligibility criteria for this option, which is:
- a minimum 30 per cent broadleaves suitable for timber production and a minimum 30 per cent diverse conifer. You must clearly show that you have taken opportunities to maximise species diversity appropriate to the site, where these opportunities exist. The 'broadleaved' and 'diverse conifer' components must be 'suitable' for the site
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 that 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 – more than 30 per cent of the total capital cost for initial planting.
6 POINTS – less than 30 per cent of the total capital cost for initial planting.
Example for 1 point
Core capital item:
Initial planting 4.5 hectares small woodland = £10,800.
Ancillary capital items:
Upgrade stock to deer fence: 1,000 metres x £3.28 = £3,280
Rabbit proofing: 1,000 metres x £1.60 = £1,600
Ancillary costs as a percentage of the total costs of initial planting:
£4,880 ÷ £10,800 = 45%
10 POINTS – 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||Removal of minimum requirement for ‘Broadleaves suitable for timber production’ component|
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