The Scottish government has announced an additional £160 million for forestry and agriculture in its latest Programme for Government.

The money includes £100 million for planting for Scottish Forestry, alongside £30 million to Forestry and Land Scotland to expand national forests and land.

A further £20 million has also been allocated to increase the supply of young trees

Over 80% of all new woodland creation across the UK in 2019-2020 was in Scotland and this further investment will increase planting targets to 18,000ha/year in 2024-2025.

Ensuring farmers and crofters can also play a key role in a green recovery, a new £10 million fund will open for applications later this month.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “We are determined to build back better after coronavirus (Covid-19) with a green recovery, and Scotland’s rural economy will be at the heart of this.

“Having created more than 22,000 ha of new woodland in the last two years, we are continuing to invest in nature-based solutions to climate change.

The forestry sector makes a huge contribution to the rural economy – over £1 billion Gross Value Added and 25,000 jobs.

“This demonstrates the scale of activity in Scotland’s forests and the potential for making a significant contribution to the green recovery.

“Forestry is not only an important natural resource, it provides spaces to improve personal health and well-being, and an ambitious programme of planting can contribute towards Scotland’s net-zero commitments.

“We know farmers and crofters want to contribute to our climate change ambitions and to cut their emissions and farm more sustainably. Helping them to change their practice by ensuring they have access to the right equipment, tools and knowledge is key. The new £10 million Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme will provide support to do this.

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