6 Dec 2023

New trees on farms publication for farmers and crofters

A new concise and informative publication for farmers and crofters which summarises the economic and environmental benefits trees can provide has been published today by the Integrating Trees Network.

 ‘Why Trees?’ aims to gives simple advice to those considering whether integrating trees into their farm or croft business is right for them.

The Scottish Government is keen to encourage more farmers and crofters to gain the benefits of growing trees. Around half of all new woodland creation applications submitted to Scottish Forestry are for small scale projects, mainly from farmers and crofters.

Welcoming the new factsheet, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“Last June I announced a package of measures which would encourage new planting across Scotland. Part of this included a commitment to provide more advice and information to farmers and crofters to stimulate further interest in growing trees.

“This new publication aims to pull together all the key benefits, including the economic and environmental advantages, that trees can provide for farmers and crofters into one easy reading document.

“It’s a great place to start if you are thinking about growing trees for the first time and need a few pointers to help decide if integrating trees into your farm or croft is going to benefit the business.”

Benefits of trees on farms are wide ranging and can include shelter and shade for livestock, windbreaks for crops, pollination, new income streams, mitigating climate change, improving water quality and biodiversity.

Help and advice on planting trees is available through a number of sources including the Integrating Trees Network, which is supported by Scottish Forestry and the Scottish Government.

The network has been a growing success over the past years with nine active volunteer farming and crofting hosts around Scotland, all using their farms or crofts to demonstrate the multiple benefits of having trees on your land.

A number of on-site events and webinars have been organised through the Integrating Trees Network over the years, with more underway this year.

The announcement comes in advance of the Woodland Creation Summit which is being chaired by Ms Gougeon.  The summit is bringing together leaders from across the forestry, land-use, environmental and community sectors to work on further actions to boost woodland creation rates in Scotland.