SCOTTISH FORESTRY is making over £2 million available to tree nurseries, small forestry businesses and farmers to help them gear up and play their part in creating more woodland across Scotland.

In a new agreement with the UK and Welsh Governments, tree nurseries in England and Wales which supply trees to Scotland will also be able to apply for this funding.

The support is part of Scottish Forestry’s Harvesting and Processing Grant, which will help farmers and foresters to buy specialist forestry equipment ranging from polytunnels and seed trays, through to mounding equipment, work site welfare units and small scale sawmills for wood processing.

Announcing the funding, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Forestry has a key role to play in helping the rural economy recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. I am also determined to see tree planting increased in Scotland to help meet our climate change targets.

“Assisting smaller scale businesses to grow and become more resilient is key to achieving these ambitions, and to maintaining livelihoods and creating more job opportunities in remote rural areas. This funding supports investment by forestry businesses in new specialised equipment to increase capacity, expand the business and sustain employment.

“If any of the tree planting ambitions are to be realised in the UK, then we need to be growing more of our own stock," noted Mr Ewing. "That means increasing nursery capacity here in Scotland, but also across the UK. I am pleased to be working with the UK and Welsh Governments to enable nurseries in England and Wales to also benefit from this grant funding. That will help more woodland to be created here.”

UK Government Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith commented: “We know the impacts coronavirus has had on tree nurseries, and I am therefore delighted we are contributing much needed support for this sector.

“Growing and protecting the UK’s forests is an integral part of our green recovery from coronavirus, as we continue towards our commitment to increase tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025. We will continue to work closely to grow nurseries’ capacity and resilience, as we plant new roots to make way for a greener, more sustainable future.”

Chief executive of forestry body Confor, Stuart Goodall, added: “This is great news, and I welcome Scottish Government’s rapid response to the concerns that Confor has been raising.

“Small businesses and forest nurseries have been hit by the effects of Covid-19, and while there are reasons to be optimistic about the longer term, there is a real need for this support now to help those businesses contribute to a green recovery."

The funding is made up of £1 million from Defra, £1 million from the Scottish Government and £50,000 from the Welsh Government.


An additional £1m is being offered to farmers and crofters in Scotland to fund diversification into forestry.

The money is the first batch of funding from the Agriculture Transformation Programme, a key Programme for Government commitment that aims to support the agriculture sector in helping Scotland meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets. The funding will help farmers and crofters to establish new small-scale woodlands, giving them a valuable new source of income.

Mr Ewing said: “The planting funded through this scheme will be hugely beneficial to farmers and crofters, providing additional income and shelter for stock and crops. It will also benefit the wider community by helping to capture carbon, alleviate the impacts of flooding and provide new habitats for wildlife. This funding will also be a boost to the wider rural economy during our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Grants from the new £1 million fund can cover up to 90% of the cost of establishing woodlands.