Forestry Grant Available for Scotland’s Farmers

With 85% of farmland in Scotland classified as Less Favoured Area (LFA) and with current uncertainties over the future of agricultural subsidies, there are significant opportunities for landowners to maximise business productivity by adding value to underproductive land via woodland creation.

New woodlands have the potential to create an additional sustainable long term income stream for your business and an important source of low carbon, low cost woodfuel, at the same time as realising tax, livestock and crop productivity and environmental benefits.

Farmers looking to unlock the benefits of trees on their land can access £1000 funding from the Farm Advisory Service for woodland creation, which can now be used for Bell Ingram’s forestry services as Specialist Advisors to FAS.

Bell Ingram’s Forestry team would be pleased to talk to anyone who would like to take advantage of the funding options available.

Woodland Creation

Bell Ingram works with clients who wish to undertake woodland creation projects and are able to offer a “one stop shop” encompassing the whole process from the initial design and grant approval stage, through to implementation, maintenance and final establishment.

For larger schemes, we can also accommodate any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements.

Most recently Bell Ingram has successful secured a number of Locational Premium Schemes, allowing landowner concerned to benefit from the additional incentives on offer and find an alternative land-use for marginal agricultural land.

To find out more about our forestry services in Scotland contact Geoff Brown on or 01292 886544.

Our people

Geoff Brown

Geoff Brown

Partner, MRICS ND For
Utilities & Renewables
Tel: 01292 886 544

About: Geoff is the Service Head of Bell Ingram’s Forestry and Utilities (Scotland) services. He is both a RICS Chartered Surveyor and a fully qualified Forester with a focus on utility and infrastructure clients. Geoff’s expertise includes acquisitions, wayleave and servitude agreements and compensation claims, along with extensive experience of all aspects of woodland management for a range of corporate and private clients. His remit includes providing specialist forestry advice relating to new woodland creation, crop compensation losses, tree felling approval, standing sales and compensatory planting sites. Interests: Utilities & Renewables, Forestry, Corporate Estate Management.

Get in touch

We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

    The business of carbon net zero

    There’s no doubt that climate change and nature decline are the big buzzwords within the UK’s rural land sector as both Holyrood and Westminster push to meet their Carbon Net Zero targets by 2045 and 2050 respectively.

    How we address these issues is placing new demands on the landowners and land managers who, as custodians of the landscape, must find a balance between securing the natural environment for future generations while supporting the multiple objectives the land must meet.

    While the growing number of government targets has opened up new opportunities for the land-based economy, the application of carbon and ecosystem investment and natural capital concepts is still in its infancy and further complicated by different legislation, aims and targets both sides of the border.

    At Bell Ingram we believe that a practical land management strategy is the key to navigating this fast-developing landscape and unlocking associated opportunities.

    Woodland Carbon

    Carbon in forestry is the hot topic at the moment. Not only does planting trees help to combat global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide, but it has the potential to generate a significant additional income for landowners.

    In essence, this is because Woodland Carbon (and Peatland) is tradable and has a value. Carbon sold when trees are planted (or Peatland restored) can provide landowners with additional income. And verified carbon can be used by business to offset their UK carbon emissions.

    The Woodland Carbon Code (WCC), which is administered by Scottish Forestry, is the quality assurance standard for woodland creation projects in the UK and generates independently verified carbon units. Backed by government, the forest industry and carbon market experts, the Code is unique in providing woodland carbon units right here in the UK.

    Bell Ingram has an established track record of delivering Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) projects, successfully implementing both native woodland and commercial conifer schemes ranging from a few hectares to many hundreds.

    From woodland creation through to long-term forest management and timber harvesting, our carbon team can offer a comprehensive range of environmental services and have the expertise to ensure the carbon opportunity in your new investment is developed to maximise potential.

    Peatland Restoration

    Peatland is an excellent carbon store. The hydrology of peatland, in its natural waterlogged state, prevents carbon within organic matter at the surface oxidising and being released as carbon dioxide. Restoration is crucial as degraded peatland has been contributing to rising carbon emissions.

    While woodland creation carbon work is already well established, Peatland Restoration is less advanced and although there are many schemes (and even more planned) the general belief is that there will be major changes to come in order to make this more appealing/available in the future.

    Like the Woodland Carbon Code, the Peatland Code is a voluntary certification standard designed to provide assurances to carbon market buyers that the climate benefits being sold are real, quantifiable, additional and permanent.

    The Code was developed in 2015 and is managed by the IUCN Peatland Programme. The reduction in carbon emissions by peatland restoration is quantified, validated, and verified in a similar way to the Woodland Carbon Code.

    Get in touch

    Done right, these new natural capital markets offer exciting opportunities. However, carbon funding is a fast-moving and developing area and we strongly advise both buyers and sellers of carbon to take professional advice.

    Please contact Partner and Head of Carbon Mike Thompson at Bell Ingram for more information. Tel. 01738 621 121 or email


    Article posted on 10/02/2022

    Scottish Forestry continues to forge stronger working relationships with farmers through Integrating Trees Network 

    The Integrating Trees Network is up and running and going from strength to strength.

    This farmer and crofter-led initiative is supported by Scottish Forestry and the Scottish Government. Its aim is to build up a strong network of farm woodland demonstration sites across Scotland, with the hosts showcasing how growing trees has helped their business.

    Sharing experiences and hearing from those who are actually doing it – including Bell Ingram’s Matthew Imrie – is all part of the ever-growing Integrating Trees Network. The initiative has now run ten virtual events, attracting farmers and crofters from all over Scotland.

    Farming Networks

    The network has built up a strong network of farm woodland demonstration sites across Scotland.

    There are six farm woodland demonstration sites across Scotland, hosted by: 

    • Andrew Adamson of Messrs W Laird & Son, Netherurd Home Farm, Peeblesshire.

    • Matthew Imrie (Bell Ingram), Hillhead Farm, Torrance.

    • Andrew and Debbie Duffus, Mains of Auchriachan, Tomintoul.

    • Andrew Whiteford, Burnfoot and Ulzieside Farm, Sanquhar.

    • The Barbour family, Mains of Fincastle, Pitlochry.

    • The Lockett family, Knockbain Farm, Dingwall.

    These fantastic farming hosts have shared their experiences along with a number of key practical messages for others thinking of planting trees. These are:

    • Use well known contractors – not always the cheapest but being recommended by others shows they know their job.

    • Environment – you have to work with what’s on the ground, don’t try and change it too much or work against it.

    • You can do the work yourself and you don’t need to rely on contractors. It can be a steep learning curve and there are challenges. It just takes time and planning, but there is support out there.

    • Understand your reasons for wanting to plant trees on your land and your business priorities.

    • Do your research: evaluate your land and monitor your farm to find out what areas are under performing for livestock but could still be suitable for planting trees.

    • Make sure you consider whether planting trees will complement your existing farm enterprises.

    • Treat your woodland as another crop, making sure you are managing it properly.

    • Involve the local community as much as possible in planning – that helps to defuse any potential issues.

    • Ask whether having trees on the farm will help diversify the nature of the business to become more adaptable, and in the future will it provide much needed shelter.

    • Create a habitat for wildlife: life’s pretty boring without wildlife!


    As the network has developed, more resources have been created to help land managers take that next step to planting trees on their land. Simplified woodland creation guidance, small farm loan scheme, FAS funding to name but a few and most of all, having access to other farmers and crofters who can share their practical knowledge to those considering woodland creation on whatever scale. This information is available online at and

    A video featuring Bell Ingram’s Matthew Imrie, Hillhead Farm, Torrance, one of the host farmers, discussing the decision to plant trees on his family farm and key considerations others farmers should be aware of. Watch it at

    Everyone is welcome to book onto these free virtual online events. This is a farmer and crofter-led network so please get in touch and let the organisers know what topics you want  to discuss. Drop or an email. Events coming up:

    Tea and Trees with Crofters: Thursday 17th February, 6 – 7pm

    A chance to chat about planting trees on your croft – come and share your experiences and ask your questions. This discussion group will bring crofters together to chat about woodland creation projects along with specialists from Scottish Forestry and The Woodland Trust, Croft Woodland Project. This will be an informal networking event and a chance to make connections and chat with other crofters to share your experiences and knowledge. Join with a cup of tea to discuss the objectives, challenges and potential for integrating trees on crofts. Look out for booking details on the Integrating Trees Network website

    Woodland Creation for Biodiversity: What needs to be considered? Discussing the ground examples, Thursday, 24th February  7 – 8pm 

    Come along and hear from Colin Edwards, Environment Policy Advisor, Scottish Forestry, on how to create woodland to meet your biodiversity objectives. Looking at basic principles of site selection, key species to plant, integration of open habitat and creation of future habitat to maximise your biodiversity benefits. Hear and discuss with our land managers their practical experiences of creating, woodland for biodiversity. Hosts for the night are Andrew Barbour, Mains of Fincastle, Pitlochry and Richard Lockett, Knockbain, Dingwall. There will also be a representative from, Woodland Trust. Booking details on the Integrating Trees Network website www.farmingforabetterclimat

    Article posted on 10/02/2022