Woodland Improvement Grant – Planning – Woodland Grazing Management Plan

Date published: 16 December, 2016

To see recent changes to this guidance, check the bottom of this page.

Aim

This option aims to provide support for a specialist to prepare a Woodland Grazing Management Plan as per the Woodland Grazing Toolbox.

Woodland Grazing Toolbox

This plan is designed to support the Sustainable Management of Forests – Woodland Grazing option and the Woodland Improvement Grant – Habitats and Species option (for specific capital items).

Sustainable Management of Forests – Woodland Grazing

Woodland Improvement Grant – Habitats and Species

Grant support

We will pay this grant after we have approved the completed plan.

Allof the relevant woodland area must be included in the plan, including openground up to 20 per cent of the total woodland.

The grant rate for a Woodland Grazing Management Plan is £1,200 per plan.

Application eligibility criteria

Please check that you are eligible to apply for Forestry Grant Scheme funding before you begin your application.

Woodland Improvement Grant

Please see the Supporting information section below for the information you need to supply us when applying for this option.

The woodland must be at least five hectares, with the exception of designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Woodlands are eligible if they appear on the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland. They can be native woodland (including native woodland scrub communities) or they can be near native sites or other Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites if you intend to restore these sites to native woodland.

Open ground that is integral to the woodland up to a maximum limit of 20 per cent of the total management plan area is allowed within the payment area.

If you intend to expand your woodland by natural regeneration, do not include areas of open hillside or farmland. Include these areas in the detail of the management plan but they will not receive payment.

You must have prior agreement with Forestry Commission Scotland and/or Scottish Natural Heritage (for designated sites or national scenic areas) that your woodland is appropriate for this option.

Woodland Grazing Management Plans must comply with the UK Forestry Standard.

You must carry out the plan as outlined in the Woodland Grazing Toolbox.

Other eligibility criteria

Woodlands not included in the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland

Native woodlands that were not included in the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland can also be eligible. You must give evidence for their area and condition. The woodland must be above the minimum size (0.5 hectares).

You can also include riparian woodlands which were too narrow to map in the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland if these are locally important in landscapes with no woodlands.

Natural regeneration

If you intend to expand the woodland using natural regeneration you can include areas around the woodland edge, but only where natural regeneration is likely to occur.

The outer boundary of the proposed new naturally regenerated woodland must not be beyond 50 metres from the woodland edge and a viable seed source.

In exceptional circumstances, and where there are good prospects of regeneration occurring, we may agree to an outer boundary further than 50 metres from seed trees (for example if there is favourable topography and wind direction, or evidence of suppressed natural regeneration).

The minimum width of woodland for natural regeneration is 15 metres. You should check the New Natural Regeneration Establishment capital item specification for the minimum requirements you must meet to be eligible for natural regeneration funding. Include this area in your management plan.

Dealing with individual woodlands

You should tailor the Woodland Grazing Management Plan to individual woodlands to reflect woodland type, grazing history, and site-specific management objectives. Describe the expected environmental impact of the livestock grazing. Take account of the impact of grazing by wild deer.

Supporting information

To help us assess your application, you must provide us with supporting information including:

  • evidence to support the adoption of a grazing management regime must accompany the application for grant aid, for example a letter or support from, or a reference to advisory material produced by a recognised conservation organisation
  • a map that shows the perimeter of the plan area

Scoring criteria

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

To ensure that we make the most cost effective use of funding 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 can clearly demonstrate that woodland grazing, in native woodland 'BAP priority habitat type' detailed within the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and native tree species suitable to the site within wood pasture, will help towards maintaining or improving the good ecological condition of the woodland

Or

  • applications that can clearly demonstrate that woodland grazing, in ancient semi-natural woodland or Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS), will help towards maintaining or improving the good ecological condition of the woodland.

Or

  • applications that can clearly demonstrate that woodland grazing, in SSSI/Natura designated woodland which currently meets 'favourable' condition but is at risk and is identified as being 'favourable declining', will help towards maintaining the 'favourable' condition of the woodland

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

  • applications that can clearly demonstrate that woodland grazing, in SSSI/Natura designated woodland not currently achieving 'favourable' condition, will help towards bringing 100 per cent of the feature into 'favourable' condition

Or

  • applications that contribute to a landscape scale project. You must clearly explain how woodland grazing will help towards the delivery of the project

Supplementary point – additional benefit

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

  • applications can clearly demonstrate that woodland grazing, in a SSSI/Natura designated woodland not currently achieving 'favourable' condition, will help towards bringing 100 per cent of the feature into 'favourable' condition and is identified by Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage as a priority. Contact your local conservancy office to confirm your application meets this requirement

How to claim

You should only submit a capital claim once we have approved your completed plan.

You cannot make a claim for an area that exceeds that agreed in your contract. You must claim for the areas as detailed in your schedule of works, for example you cannot make an interim claim for part of the area shown on a single line of your schedule of works.

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

Claim forms and guidance are available on the Claims and payments page.

Technical guidance

Recent changes

Section Change
Application eligibility criteriaClarification that permission must be sought from Scottish Natural Heritage for designated sites or national scenic areas.

Previous versions

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