Native Low-density Broadleaves
This is an old version of the page
Date published: 2 July, 2015
Date superseded: 16 July, 2015
Updates to last version
- addition of scoring criteria
The aim of this scheme is to create specific native woodland or scrub habitats. These include areas of ecotones for black grouse, treeline woodlands, juniper and other forms of scrub woodland and wood pasture systems.
These areas are usually associated with other woodland habitats in a transitional situation, for example transition onto open hill or montane scrub.
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 0.25 hectares in any one year with a maximum area of 10 hectares where this is used as a stand-alone option. Where this option is used in a mix with another option(s), it will be restricted to up to 10 per cent of the area of the other option(s), and up to a maximum of 25 hectares (see Note 1 for some examples)
- your application must meet the species composition criteria in the table below
|Composition of native low-density broadleaves woodland|
|Minimum stocking density |
on the planted area
at year five (per hectare)
|Native broadleaves ||50||75||500|
|Designed open ground ||0||50||n/a|
| Up to 20 per cent of the native broadleaves can be native woody shrubs as recommended for the chosen National Vegetation Classification woodland type(s) in Foresrtry Commisison Bulletin 112.|
 You must refer to the designed open ground guidance on the Forestry Commission Scotland Technical Support 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 (2014–2020) Site Suitability folder on the Forestry Commission Scotland Map Viewer page.
You should also demonstrate that the chosen National Vegetation Classification woodland type(s) is appropriate to the site, which will be determined by existing vegetation indicators (refer to Forestry Commission Bulletin 112 – Creating New Native Woodlands), as well as climatic conditions, soil moisture and soil nutrient regimes.
Any applications that are not shown as being climatically marginal or suitable will only be considered if you can clearly demonstrate that they meet this requirement 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 marginal, suitable or very suitable to the site.
For all native broadleaves within this option, you must provide a copy of the supplier's document when submitting an initial planting claim (see Forestry Commission Scotland Technical Support for an example document).
As well as entering the quantity of trees and the Master Certificate Number on the suppliers document, you should also include the region of provenance, demonstrating that the trees are suitable for the site (refer to Forestry Commission Scotland guidance on Seed sources for planting native trees and shrubs in Scotland).
See the Forestry Commission's Marketing and Supplying Forest Reproductive Materials for further information.
Association with another woodland creation option(s)
Where you apply to use this option alongside another woodland creation option(s), you will be able to plant up to 10 per cent of the area of the other option(s) with an overall cap of 25 hectares. The native low-density broadleaves planting should add environmental benefits to the overall planned woodland area. You must meet the minimum stocking density requirements detailed in the specific options.
The examples below further explain how to calculate the area of native low-density broadleaves which is eligible for grant support when associated with an additional woodland creation option:
30 hectares diverse conifer x 10 per cent = 3.00 hectares
Therefore up to 3 hectares of native low-density broadleaves woodland may also be considered within the overall application.
425 hectares conifer x 10 per cent = 42.50 hectares
Therefore 42.5 hectares may be considered, but because of the 25 hectare cap only 25 hectares of native low-density broadleaves will be eligible for grant support within the overall application.
Threshold score = 10 points
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 will further diversify woodland type with the expansion of appropriate treeline planting
- applications that are identified as 'suitable' for the particular NVC type, which expand appropriate existing native woodlands
- applications that will expand the size and resilience of existing native woodlands by forming key linkages within a habitat network
5 POINTS - For applications that meet one of the three point criteria above and one or more of the criteria below:
- applications that are identified as 'very suitable' for the particular NVC type, which clearly support and benefit one of the key woodland species for action under the Scottish Forest Strategy, for example black grouse
- applications that will expand the size and resilience of existing native woodlands by forming key linkages within a habitat network. You must be within the 'Primary Zone' of the native woodland habitat network which is identified on the 'Native Woodland Habitat Network' map on the FCS map viewer (see Forestry Grant Scheme 2014–2020 Target Areas folder)
Scale of delivery
1 POINT - for applications between 0.25ha and 0.99ha
3 POINTS - for applications between 1ha and 1.99ha
5 POINTS - for applications above 2ha
Delivering better quality
1 POINT – for applications that meet the minimum stocking density eligibility criteria for this option, which is:
- 500 stems/ha at initial planting
3 POINTS – for applications that deliver more than the minimum stocking density eligibility criteria for this option, which is:
- 10 per cent of the area within the scheme boundary planted at 1,000 stems/ha
5 POINTS – for applications that are well in excess of the minimum stocking density eligibility criteria for this option, which is:
- 20 per cent of the area within the scheme boundary planted at 1,000 stems/ha
Delivery of good practice
1 POINT – for applications which meet the minimum 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 6 points
Core capital item:
Initial planting 5ha 'Wide Spaced NBL' =£5,600
Ancillary capital items:
Deer Fence: 150m x £6.8 =£1,020
Enhance/Modify Deer Fence: 250m x £2 =£500
Ancillary costs as a percentage of total grant sought:
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)
Click 'Download this page' to create a printable version of this guidance you can save or print out.