AGRISCOT 2017 featured a well-attended seminar organised by rural property firm Davidson and Robertson to discuss farmers' opportunities to use grant funding to establish new woodlands or manage existing farm woodland to their best advantage.

Presented by associate director George Hipwell and forestry manager Iain Kyle, the talk went into depth about the opportunities and values available when it comes to woodland, as well as examples of using forestry as a way for farmers to diversify and continue to get the most from their land.

Talking through the criteria required for eligibility, the different stages involved in woodland creation and the current and future market trends in the timber industry, the D and R team gave the audience a clear idea of the diversification opportunities available.

The key messages for farmers and landowners to take away included:

• Forestry is a key policy objective for the Scottish Government, particularly in Central Scotland;

• Many farming businesses need to consider diversification options, and forestry could allow them to add some certainty to the farming business;

• Timber prices are buoyant and forestry creation provides attractive grant funding.

Associate director Derek Bathgate, who chaired the seminar, commented: “It was fantastic to see so many people at our Forestry and Farming seminar, and it’s always so positive to see so many farmers and landowners considering other options to generate income and capital growth.

"In the current economical and political climate, no-one can be sure what the future holds, so finding other ways to get value from your land is an important step to take. Forestry can provide an opportunity for farm businesses to add value to their bottom line, improving the efficiency of the farm and providing additional income from land that may not be productive farmland.”