Grant will return livestock to woods

THE line between woodland and livestock farming has been partially removed with the introduction of a grant scheme aimed at using cattle and sheep to enhance some of the country's semi-natural native woodlands.

Launching the new scheme in Dunkeld yesterday, Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham described it as an imaginative approach to encourage more management of semi-natural native woodlands in Scotland through sensitive livestock grazing. She said it was an age-old system that these days is not as widely used as it could be.

The Controlled Livestock Grazing of Woodland grant – available through the SRDP Rural Priorities funding stream – aims to encourage more landowners to adopt dual-land use practices.

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The joint initiative between Forestry Commission Scotland, and Scottish Natural Heritage, draws on European Commission funding. Grant support will be provided through annual payments of 87/hectare/year for a period of five years and this can be supplemented with additional Woodland Improvement Grant funding.

In addition to supporting semi-natural woodland, the grant is also available to potential applicants with Plantation on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) that are actively being restored to native woodland.