Woodland Creation – Native Low-density Broadleaves

This is an old version of the page

Date published: 30 March, 2015

Date superseded: 2 July, 2015

Table of Contents


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.

Eligibility criteria

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
Item Minimum
(per cent)
(per cent)
Minimum stocking density
on the planted area
at year five (per hectare)
Native broadleaves [1]5075500
Designed open ground [2]050n/a
[1] 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.
[2] 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.

Species selection

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.

Note 1

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:

Example 1

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.

Example 2

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.