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Help available for woodland grant applications in Park

23rd July 2019

The Cairngorms National Park Authority is offering grants to reduce the cost of developing woodland creation proposals within the Cairngorms National Park.

Woodland creation is vital to our future, to help combat the climate emergency, enhance wildlife habitats and to contribute to economic development. The Scottish Forestry Grant Scheme has been critical to the success of woodland creation schemes so far, but the costs of preparing an application can be off-putting to some.

David Hetherington, Woodland Advisor at the CNPA explains: “With the support of partners – Scottish Forestry, Scottish Natural Heritage and Woodland Trust Scotland – we have set up a new Woodland Challenge Fund with a very straightforward application process. The fund will contribute up to £3,000 per scheme towards costs incurred in the development of a woodland creation application to the Scottish Forestry Grant Scheme including gathering information, surveys and discussing proposals as part of ‘due diligence’.

“We hope the Woodland Challenge Fund grants will help more landowners, crofters and tenant farmers to expand native woodland in the National Park, either through natural regeneration or by planting.”

All applications will be judged according to whether the proposed scheme helps to deliver one or more of the strategic objectives of the Cairngorms National Park Forest Strategy. These include whether it will restore lost or vulnerable forest ecosystems or encourage the natural regeneration of native forests.

Scottish Forestry’s Conservator for the Highlands and Islands, John Risby, said: “Forestry contributes £1 billion to the Scottish economy and 3 per cent of the workforce living in the National Park is employed in forestry. Scotland has this year hit its national woodland creation target but as we all respond to the climate emergency facing us, it is imperative that we all join in the national endeavour of planting more of the right trees in the right places.

“This new fund is a very welcome addition to the incentives that are already available and I wish the CNPA every success and hope that they are inundated with applications!”

Applications may be made at any time until 29th February 2020, but funding is limited so it is important to contact the CNPA as soon as possible on 01479 873535. More information can be found here.