Some of the schemes that formed part of the last programme will continue to pay out beyond its end, although they are closed for new applicants.
This is because some of the payments are paid annually over several years to match the lifecycle of the project they are supporting.
Rural Priorities Scheme
Status of scheme
The Regional Priorities Scheme was established to aid the delivery of the five key outcomes of the 2007 – 2013 SRDP:
- Business viability and competitiveness
- water quality
- adaptations to mitigate climate change
- biodiversity and landscapes
- thriving rural communities
As this Programme period has ended the Rural Priorities element is now closed to new applications but the Scheme will continue to remain live for the purposes of making payment to beneficiaries that have ongoing contracts with management falling under the Woodland Creation and Sustainable Management of Forest options.
In some instances Woodland Creation management may continue until 2030 with the final annual recurrent payment due to be made in the spring of 2031.
The relevant guidance for RP beneficiaries with ongoing contracts, which include the management referred to above, is provided below.
Within Rural Priorities there are eight woodland creation options - see below. Click on the relevant option, contained within your contract to get detailed eligibility requirements and information.
- Productive conifer woodland (low cost) RP22301A - option closed
- Productive conifer woodland (high cost) RP22301B – option closed
- Productive broadleaved woodland RP22301C – option closed
- Native Woodlands RP22301D- option closed
- Naturally regenerated native woodland RP22301E – option closed
- Mixed conifer/broadleaf woodland RP22301F – option closed
- Northern & Western Isles Native Woodland RP22301G – option closed
- Central Scotland Mixed Woodland RP22301H – option closed
Sustainable Management of Forests
Within Rural Priorities there are six Sustainable Management of Forests options - see below. Click on the relevant option, contained within your contract to get detailed eligibility requirements and information.
- RP22501A Sustainable Management of Forests - native woodlands - Option closed. · .
- RP22501B Sustainable Management of Forests - LISS - Option closed. ·
- RP22501C Sustainable Management of Forests - Public access - Option closed ·
- RP22501D Sustainable Management of Forests - Restructuring felling - Option closed. ·
- RP22501E Sustainable Management of Forests - Livestock Removal - Option closed. ·
- RP22501F Sustainable Management of Forests - Woodland Grazing - Option closed.
Claims and payments
Annual Recurrent claims
To make a claim for Annual Recurrent options in your contract you must declare the land on which you undertake these options on the Single Application Form (SAF).
You need to submit a SAF once a year during the annual application window, which is open from 15 March until 15 May (or the following Monday if this date falls at a weekend), to continue claiming for these schemes.
The easiest way to complete you Single Application Form is online through registering and logging in to Rural Payments and Services. You can find out more about the Single Application Form at the link below.
Guidance on the process for when a variation is requested by a beneficiary or required by a Rural Priorities delivery partner to make changes to the Schedule of Works proposed in a Rural Priorities project after it has been approved can be found here.
Inspections to check compliance will be carried out on a percentage of claims, chosen by risk analysis. Inspection visits will be coordinated to minimise farm visits by relevant organisations.
Further details on the inspections process can be found here.
Breaches and Penalties
Guidance relating to decisions taken to reduce, refuse and recover payments under the Rural Priorities (RP) and Land Managers Options (LMO) can be found here.
If we have written to tell you we have already – or soon will – refuse, reduce or recover your payment and you are not sure why we have made this decision, you should urgently contact your area office for more information. Further information can be found here.
A participant who intends to lease or sell all or part of their land covered by their Rural Priorities contract is obliged to notify Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (SGRPID) in writing within 3 months of transfer of the lease or sale.
It is important to follow this advice because if you fail to notify SGRPID within 3 months of a change of occupation, SGRPID may be obliged to reclaim all or part of the Rural Priorities payments received, with interest. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to pay a penalty.
Please follow the links to guidance, procedures and forms below.
If you find you are no longer able to meet the conditions of the your contract, write to your RPID area office or Case Officer within 10 days of being in a position to do so. You must explain the reason why and supply any relevant evidence. Unless you can meet the "force majeure" criteria you will normally need to repay any payments you have already received, plus interest. You may also have to pay a penalty.
Rural Priorities is delivered jointly by, Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (RPID) Scottish Forestry (SF) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). If you have any questions about Rural Priorities, you can contact your local RPID, SF or SNH office. Please select one of the following links to view the contact details:
- RPID area office contact details
- Scottish Forestry conservancy and area office contact details
- SNH area office contact details
Further information on Customer Care and complaints relating to the Scheme can be found here.
Background to scheme
Access to all the guidance associated with applications submitted to and contracts awarded under the Rural Priorities scheme can be found in the Gov Scot archive here.