The Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS) and the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) are now open for funding applications from farmers, crofters and land managers across Scotland.
Applications can be submitted online using the new Rural Payments and Services system which the Scottish Government launched in January this year.
The AECS and FGS can only be applied for online and everyone (including those who plan to apply for other Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) schemes by paper) must first register at https://www.ruralpayments.org, otherwise their payments will not be processed.
Mr Lochhead said:
“After much hard work from everyone involved, we are pleased to announce that the Forestry Grant Scheme and the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme are now open for funding applications. As in previous years, customers must apply for these schemes online. Fifty five per cent of our customers have now registered with our new system. But for those who haven’t, they must remember that in order for us to process payments for FGS and AECS, and all other CAP funding, everyone must register for the Rural Payments and Services system by 15 May 2015.”
The Agri-Environment Climate Scheme promotes land management practices which protect and enhance Scotland’s magnificent natural heritage, improve water quality, manage flood risk and mitigate and adapt to climate change. It will also help to improve public access and preserve historic sites. The scheme will be open for applications until 12 June 2015.
The Forestry Grant Scheme will support woodland creation and promote the sustainable management of existing woodlands. This will to help deliver the Scottish Government’s target to establish 100,000 hectares of new woodland by 2022.
Support for positive management of existing woodlands will produce a wide range of public benefits, including more jobs and businesses, increased opportunities for recreation and access, and enhancing the diversity of Scotland’s woodlands so that they are better for wildlife and more resilient to new pests and diseases.