Farmers in Scotland have been offered a share of £1m as an incentive to take up forestry.

The Scottish Government funding will be used to help farmers and crofters establish new small-scale woodlands.

Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing believes increased levels of tree planting could help tackle climate change.

He also said the funding could help the rural economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Ewing said: “To meet our ambitious climate change targets and help to adapt to the effects already being felt, it is important that we support farmers and crofters in planting and managing forestry on their land.

“The planting funded through this scheme will be hugely beneficial to farmers and crofters, providing additional income and shelter for stock and crops.

“It will also benefit the wider community by helping to capture carbon, alleviate the impacts of flooding and provide new habitats for wildlife.

“This funding will also be a boost to the wider rural economy during our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

The money is the first batch of funding from the Agriculture Transformation Programme.

It comes on top of £500,000 announced last week by Scottish Forestry to assist farmers and crofters in buying forestry and timber processing equipment.

The funding announcement comes after the appointment of a new chief forester for Scotland.

Helen McKay will provide technical and professional advice on forestry matters to Scottish Government ministers.

Dr McKay has worked for Forest Research since 1988, and currently provides scientific and strategic leadership to the Centre for Sustainable Forestry and Climate Change.

Source: The Herald