Scottish environment & climate change minister Roseanna Cunningham has invited landowners and managers to apply for additional funding to help create more productive woodland.

The 10% increase in grant support for new applications relating to productive conifer and productive broadleaf planting is part of the Scottish government’s commitment to forestry and aims to allay industry concerns that commercial forestry in Scotland is being neglected.

Speaking at a meeting with ConFor yesterday, Ms Cunningham said the forestry sector made a valuable contribution to Scotland’s rural economy and it was vital to ensure a healthy, sustainable and competitive future for the industry.

“Following a dip in the past few years, planting rates across the country are on the increase and the Scottish government, working together with the industry, aims to ensure that this progress continues to go from strength to strength,” she said.

“This 10% increase in grant support will encourage landowners and growers to plant more productive woodlands – a joint effort that will help to ensure a strong future for Scotland’s forestry and timber industries.”

The 10% increase in intervention rates applies to the capital items of initial planting, fences and gates within projects that carried out on sites recognised within the local Indicative Forest Strategy as “preferred” or “potential”.