Tenant Farming Commissioner publishes Tree Planting Guide

Scotland’s Tenant Farming Commissioner (TFC), Bob McIntosh, has today published a Guide to Tree Planting on Tenanted Agricultural Holdings.

The guide provides information for landlords and tenants who might be considering planting trees on tenanted agricultural holdings.

With the current economic uncertainty surrounding agriculture, and increased pressure on business margins, more farm businesses are looking to diversify in to a range of different non-agricultural activities to support the future of the business. This, along with a focus by Scottish Government on increasing woodland in Scotland, is causing more farmers and landowners to consider the pros and cons of woodland creation.

This guide outlines the rights of both tenants and landlords  to plant trees and provides information on applying for permission to plant.

It is important that tenants and landlords considering planting trees use this guide to understand their rights, comments TFC Bob McIntosh.

“The guide highlights four basic scenarios where tenants and landlords are likely to see tree planting on holdings as valuable and provides clarity on who is able to do what and when.

“A tenant of a secure tenancy or a limited duration tenancy wishing to use the land for a non-agricultural purpose such as tree planting can now do so provided they obtain written consent for the diversification activity.”

In welcoming the publication of the new guidance, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing added:

“This is very welcome advice and will help in the national endeavour to expand our forests and woodlands in Scotland.

“Tenant farmers can gain many benefits from new tree planting on their holdings, especially as it can help to improve their business and diversify their income.

“I’m keen to see a growth in woodland cover across Scotland but it needs to be carried out in an integrated way with other land uses. This simple and clear guide helps to lay out for both landowners and tenants how new woodlands could work for them and the benefits that can potentially be realised by all parties from planting trees in the right places.”

The Guide also provides important information about waygo compensation which the landlord or the tenant may be entitled to upon termination of the lease.”

The Guide is available at https://landcommission.gov.scot/tenant-farming/codes-of-practice/