FARMERS ARE encouraged to learn more about the benefits of diversifying into new woodlands at a free event in Aberdeenshire, on Wednesday, August 28.

Growers in the region are now reaping the rewards of trees planted 20 years ago, as demand for wood fuel remains strong and income from timber sales has the added advantage of being tax free.

Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service has commented on the high value timber, stating that yields are consistently higher than 50 tonnes per hectare and net income can be as high as £20 per tonne, or more in some cases.

To help farmers find out more about diversifying into new woodlands, or thinning and felling existing woodlands, FAS is holding a free event in Strichen, Aberdeenshire, later this month.

In addition to providing information on grants available for the management and establishment of new woodlands, there will also be contributions from Scottish Forestry and Tilhill Forestry, which purchased the timber from the thinnings.

Lunch will be followed by a visit to Borrohill Woods, where harvesting work is under way.

Forestry consultant with SAC Consulting, which delivers the FAS programme, Simon Jacyna said: “Forestry can be an excellent diversification opportunity for farmers and those who entered the Challenge Fund were pioneers as we have little experience of such high-yielding woods.

“Good advance planning for new roads and harvesting is essential. There is a limited window of opportunity for the first thinning and it is important not to leave it too late.”

The owner of Borrohill, Mike Davis added: “Forestry has been a great investment for me. The growth rate of the crop is tremendous, and I am delighted at how much I will be getting for the thinning work.”

The ‘Here’s One I Planted Earlier’ event takes place on Wednesday August 28, meeting at the White Horse Hotel in Strichen at 10.30am.

The event is free, but booking is essential. To secure a place at the event call 01343 548 787, email or visit