How we can help

We deal with complaints about grant schemes, felling permissions and appeals about felling permissions. 

Visit our 'Privacy notice' web page if you need to complain about something other than grants and regulations.

Forestry Grant Scheme

Complaints about the way we have handled your application will follow the standard Complaints Handling Procedure. Complaints should be made directly to your local conservancy office

Visit the Rural Payment and Services website for information on how to appeal a decision by us to refuse, withhold, reduce or recover a Forestry Grant Scheme capital payment.

Complaints about the legacy (closed) Rural Priorities Scheme

The Regional Priorities Scheme was established to aid the delivery of the five key outcomes of the 2007 – 2013 SRDP:

  • business viability and competitiveness
  • water quality
  • adaptations to mitigate climate change
  • biodiversity and landscapes
  • thriving rural communities

As this Programme period has ended the Rural Priorities element is now closed to new applications. However, the Scheme will continue to remain live for the purposes of making payment to beneficiaries that have ongoing contracts with management falling under the Woodland Creation and Sustainable Management of Forest options.

You can read more about the closed Rural Priorities Scheme and contact Rural Payments and Services for further information.

Complaints about legacy (closed) grant schemes

If you've a legacy grant scheme contract (Woodland Grant Scheme or Forestry Grant Scheme), and we disagree with you about whether or not you have kept to the Plan of Operations or the Terms and Conditions of the grant scheme offer, you've the right to arbitration by a third party. However, your first point of contact should always be to contact your local conservancy office.

Complaints about felling permissions

Complaints about felling permissions should also be made directly to your local conservancy office. Complaints about the way we have handled your application we'll follow the standard Complaints Handling Procedure.

Right of appeal 

There are a number of our decisions that may be appealed. A list of what you can appeal can be found on the website.

To appeal a decision you must submit an appeals form within 40 working days of the decision. Please use the appeal notes to help you complete your form.

View our appeals process guide chart.

It's important to submit your appeal in good time as incomplete or incorrect submissions will be rejected. 

The appeals process has 2 stages:

  1. An internal review within Scottish Forestry, carried out by a senior member of staff who did not make the original decision. If the appeal is upheld at this stage, the decision will be amended or revoked. However, if the appeal is refused, it'll go on to stage 2.
  2. An external review which will be carried out by a reporter appointed by the Scottish Government Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA).

Visit Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) for more information.


This process is currently under development. Please contact your local office for more information.

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) right to challenge the validity of the decision

Our decision is final, subject to the right of the applicant or any third party to apply to the Court of Session for judicial review. This must be done within 6 weeks from the publication of our decision. Judicial review is the mechanism by which the Court of Session supervises the exercise of administrative functions, including how the Scottish Ministers exercise their statutory function to determine applications for consent.

Visit the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website to find the rules relating to the judicial review process.

Related links

Felling permission - privacy notice