Funding under this scheme

Date published: 20 January, 2021

For recent changes to this guidance, please see the bottom of the page.

Funding under the scheme falls into two categories:

  • annual payments for management options
  • payments for capital costs

You will get annual payments for management options in your contract. If your application is successful these payments will be set at a standard cost in your contract as per the standard rates detailed in the management options webpages.

Capital items are one-off activities that can be claimed for and paid once they have been satisfactorily completed. Virtually all capital items are considered on the basis of a standard cost, as shown within the rules for each individual capital item.

Any capital expenditure incurred before your application to the scheme has been submitted is not eligible.

In this restricted 2021 round, for applications other than for Slurry Stores and Improving Public Access (IPA), only essential capital items will be accepted. This includes those items that are directly required to enable the management option (for example, Wild bird seed for farmland birds and Creation of wild bird seed for farmland birds) and essential complimentary items only (for example, Creation of wader scrapes or Cutting of rush pasture).

Capital items are not eligible when selecting the Organic Maintenance option as this option supports the cost of maintaining an organic management system.

Some capital items are available throughout the country. However, some are targeted to particular locations. You can only apply for the targeted capital items if they are listed under your MLC on the Targeting tool webpage. (The capital items webpage shows which items are targeted.)

For the 2021 round actual costs may only be used where the work to be undertaken is located on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Natura sites (Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation) see details below.

For actual cost capital items the guidance on quotes must be followed.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Natura sites

The Scottish Government is committed to bringing designated sites (Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Natura sites) into favourable condition. In certain circumstances the standard payment rates for capital items are unlikely to cover the real costs of the works for these sites.

These circumstances include:

  • remoteness of the area of land on which the work will be undertaken or awkward / rough terrain getting to site – for example island location, lack of local contractors resulting in travel and subsistence for contractors during the works, longer time to access work site, difficult to deliver materials
  • awkward, rough or fragile terrain on site making it necessary to, for example, use specialist contractors, work at a slower rate, avoid disturbance to neighbouring areas, use matting to protect ground
  • other conditions – for example vegetation removal from a large area of cliff which has very small area on a map

In such exceptional circumstances we will consider supporting higher, actual capital costs, where all of the following conditions apply:

  • these activities support action on, or adjacent to, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Natura sites (designated sites) aimed at bringing the special features of interest into favourable condition, or maintaining favourable condition of features. Your case officer will confirm this with relevant staff in NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage)
  • you provide an adequate demonstration of the circumstances which justify why the standard payments rates are not sufficient. For larger projects, where there are different distinguishable elements, you may have to use standard costs for those elements for which you cannot provide an appropriate justification for the use of actual capital costs
  • you provide a detailed breakdown of the work required, the associated costs and supporting quotes in line with the guidance on quotes
  • you provide a comparison with the standard payment rate for the same activity, which demonstrates that the cost of undertaking the required activity is significantly higher than this

Please note, standard costs for any fencing requirements should be applied in most instances. Actual costs will only be approved in exceptional circumstances.

You should discuss any such proposals with your local NatureScot office at an early stage before submitting your application, to ensure that what you are proposing is appropriate for the designated site features so that you can confidently proceed to getting quotes for the work.

Section Change
Introduction Removal of Farm Environment Assessments and Collaborative Management plan reference
Capital Items Inclusion of 2021 notice
Actual costs capital items Removed section regarding scheduled monuments and other capital items

Click 'Download this page' to create a printable version of this guidance you can save or print out.