Scottish farmers are being offered financial support worth up to £3,500 per hectare over 20 years to plant native woodland.
The funding is available through Future Woodlands Scotland – a charity working to create and conserve native woodlands.
The charity’s Future Woodland Funds, which is backed by £2 million of support from energy company BP, aims to establish one million native trees across Scotland by November next year.
“Interest in native woodland regeneration is increasing but many farmers and land managers still worry about the upfront costs of planting woodlands; providing them with a range of options will mean they can choose what’s best for their business,” said Future Woodlands Scotland chairman, Tim Hall.
“This will be good for both farming and wildlife, while helping Scotland meet its biodiversity and climate commitments.
“I urge anyone thinking about creating native woodland to apply today.”
He said the scheme, which first launched last year, offers four types of support – annual payments, upfront area payments for small woodlands, carbon ownership and ghost woodlands.
Funding through the annual payments option offers farmers and land owners up to £3,500 per hectare spread over 20 years, while an upfront area payment is also available for smaller woodlands to help ease cashflow while establishing the woodland.
The carbon unit ownership option gives farmers and land managers the option to keep any carbon units arising from their woodland as an investment or to offset their own land-based emissions, while the ghost woodlands option provides support for restoring derelict native woodlands.
The fund will also provide access to a professional forestry agent to draw up a Forestry Grant Scheme application, as well as covering the cost of site assessments and Woodland Carbon Code validation.
“By working with businesses and organisations, Future Woodlands Scotland aims to enhance Scotland’s biodiversity through projects that would not otherwise be possible,” added Mr Hall.
“We are grateful to BP for their support in investing in our efforts to create lasting change.”
Giles Mackay, senior manager for HSE and carbon at BP North Sea, said the energy company was proud of its long-standing relationship with Future Woodlands Scotland.
He said: “BP is working hard to become a net zero company by 2050 and to help the communities we work in achieve their sustainability goals.
“All carbon credits generated by this scheme will therefore belong to the landowner or to Future Woodlands Scotland to re-invest in future projects and help Scotland reach its net zero targets.”
More information about the Future Woodlands Fund is available online at www.futurewoodlands.org.uk