Farmers, crofters and land managers are invited to apply for support from a new £2 million fund to help create and restore native woodlands across Scotland.
The Future Woodlands Fund, managed by the charity Future Woodlands Scotland (FWS) and backed by energy company BP, aims to enable the planting of a million trees across Scotland during a three-year pilot phase.
FWS said it is hoped the trees will sequester an estimated 235,000 tonnes of carbon by 2080.
“This new fund will pilot an incentive-based approach to encourage landowners to establish new native woodland and restore ghost or degraded former native woodlands that have high ecological potential,” said FWS chairman, Tim Hall.
“The Future Woodlands Fund is intended to help land managers overcome financial and cultural barriers to deliver nature-based solutions to climate change and social benefits across Scotland.”
Any land manager in Scotland is invited to apply to the fund for support provided their proposed project has a minimum size of three hectares (7.4 acres) and a maximum size of 100 hectares (247 acres).
The fund is designed to work alongside the Scottish Government’s Forestry Grant Scheme, and it will cover the costs of an application to the grant scheme, offer landowners area payments of £100 per hectare per year for 20 years, and provide advice on potential bridging loans for project implementation.
Successful applicants will have their project registered and validated in the UK Woodland Carbon Code by FWS at no cost to the land manager.
Giles Mackay, HSE and carbon manager at BP North Sea, said: “BP is proud of our long-established partnership with this charity and look forward to seeing how this new approach with landowners can help create even more valuable native woodlands in Scotland.”
More details about the fund are online at www.futurewoodlands.org.uk