In 2009, the Scottish Government announced its commitment to increase woodland cover to 25% of Scottish land area by the second half of the century. This would require additional planting of between 10,000 and 15,000 ha/yr, compared with the 2009 rate of between 4,000 and 5,000 ha/yr. To achieve this target, woodland planting will need to take place on agricultural land.
Well designed and managed woodlands can complement agricultural activities and generate additional income for farmers. For example, farmers can achieve financial gains from selling good quality timber, while trees can provide an effective means of sheltering crops and livestock from the elements. However, while woodland planting can generate positive cash flows over a 15 year time frame, the initial costs reduce the attractiveness of such schemes. Furthermore, on most farm types, the income generation from woodland planting is insufficient to offset losses in agricultural income. As a result, farmers have been reluctant to participate in woodland creation on their land.
SAC found that the cost of hiring a woodland consultant was a significant barrier to woodland planting for many farmers. To overcome this problem, SAC offered free, tailored advice to farmers on creating woodland areas on agricultural land.
SAC provide information to farmers on the best types of trees to plant, where to plant them and how to maintain them. They also offered advice on the funding streams available for woodland creation schemes.
SAC worked with farmers to identify appropriate sites for woodland creation. They conducted free site visits, devised written proposals and budgets, and provided assistance with funding applications.
SAC promoted this service through their newsletter and through a targeted press release.
As a result of this project, several farmers applied for Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) funding to develop and expand woodland areas on their land.
This CSGN funded project facilitates woodland creation by offering tailored advice to farmers on developing and expanding woodland areas on their land.
The project also promotes the wider benefits of woodland creation in terms of:
Since this project began, SAC has become Scotland's Rural College (SRUC). SAC Consulting, the consultancy arm of SRUC continues to offer support to farmers on woodland creation and advises farmers on the SRDP funding available for woodland creation schemes.
|2010||CSGN Development Fund||4,725|
|2010||CSGN Development Fund||3,745|
|2010||CSGN Development Fund||4,205|
|2010||CSGN Development Fund||3,245|