Free help to branch out into tree planting

Lisa Paton

Farmers and land managers in Central Scotland, who are thinking of planting trees but don’t know where to begin, can now get free help from Scottish Forestry.

As part of ongoing work to promote the benefits of tree planting to rural businesses  in the region, a limited number of FREE Farm Woodland Assessments are up for grabs, to help farms and estates identify opportunities for new woodland planting to support their  businesses. 

Already, 76 free Farm Woodland Assessments have taken place in the central belt, resulting in over 550 ha’s of new woodland creation. 

The free, no obligation attached, assessments identify how new woodland planting could help boost the business. As well as detailing available grant options and other potential additional funding avenues, they explore predicted expenditure and cash flow through the Forestry Grants Scheme (FGS) until the woodland is established. They also advise on future management – up to first returns from harvesting.

Matthew Imrie, of Hillhead Farm, who received a Farm Woodland Assessment in 2017 said:

“We are always looking to maximise the farms potential for both current and future generations. The area being planted with trees is poor land we have struggled to graze and make productive for about 20 years. Wind turbines and solar panels were previously considered but neither were suitable for this site.  We hadn’t considered forestry as we weren’t aware of its benefits. The farm woodland assessment provided us with all the information we required to make an informed decision on whether to invest in forestry. The report included an indicative budget and summary of the works required – allowing us to determine whether the returns were worth the input. With the grants available, it was clear that this was a sound investment for now and for the future.”

To express your interest in a free farm woodland assessment by 5 pm Friday 21st May 2021 or for further information contact Virginia Harden Scott at