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.
And for the first time, through 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 the 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 poly tunnels, 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. 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.”