In Scotland, the Woodland Grant Scheme (WGS) closed to new applications in 2003, however, grants continue to be paid provided that the work is carried out in accordance with an existing WGS contract. Woodland Grant Scheme contracts can also still be amended if required.
Before you make a claim
You must ensure that the land covered by your WGS contract is registered under the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) before you can claim any grant payment as you need a Business Reference Number (BRN). To register you must complete SGRPID’s Land and Business Registration form.
A Question and Answer document that gives the background to the introduction of the current grant claim process is available:
You can find out all the details about registering your land in the IACS explanatory booklet (PDF 501k).
If you need more information, please contact your local agriculture office. You can find their address details at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Agriculture/AOcontacts/contacts.
Making a claim
The applicant or authorised agent can make a claim for grant payments when the work is satisfactorily carried out in accordance with the contract.
Making your declaration on the Invitation to Claim
Where we are paying instalments of grant due after you have claimed the first one, we will send you a reminder 'Invitation to Claim'. Please note that when you return the signed Invitation to Claim with the required FID information you are making a formal declaration that the work you are claiming for is still satisfactory.
We may inspect the work before payment is made.
Please note that FCS staff are not authorised to make corrections to your claim. If we discover errors then we may need to return your claim for correction.
It is also possible that penalties may be applied if, after an inspection, we discover differences between the area claimed and the area of the work.
The applicant is wholly responsible for ensuring that the claim is accurate.
Advice is available about how to ensure your claim gets through the SGRPID Business Reference Number – Field Identifier check: see Claiming legacy grants (PDF 25k).
Advice is also available about the circumstances in which a contract can be breached and the penalties that might be applied – see Introduction to Breaches and Penalties (link to Scottish Government website).
- Complete form WGS-FWPS 3 – Claim Form (PDF 92k) to claim grant or complete and sign the Invitation to Claim.
- Enclose a map showing the boundary of the area of the claim
- For Farm Woodland Premium Scheme payments (FWPS), claim the first five years payments by completing the FWPS section of the WGS-FWPS 3
- Ensure the claimant detailed in the contract signs the grant claim
- The Scottish Government's Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate. (SGRPID) will send forms for subsequent FWPS instalments
Send the form and map or Invitation to Claim to the local Conservancy office.
Forestry Commission Scotland will send an Invitation to Claim for grants paid annually or for subsequent instalments.
Remember to claim your grant within the financial year agreed.
Making an amendment
The applicant or authorised agent can make an amendment to Woodland Grant Scheme contracts:
- Complete form WGS-FWPS 4 – Amendment Form (PDF 71k) to give details of the changes required
- SGRPID’s approval will be required for any changes to work or land entered into the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme
- Applicants may be required to sign an amended WGS contract and Farm Woodland Premium Scheme Declarations and Undertaking
- Do not start any work until the amendment is approved.
Change of ownership
Liability for grant repayment can be transferred to a new owner. If you intend to, or have sold or transferred your property with an existing grant scheme, it is vital that you, the owner, or your solicitor, inform the local Forestry Commission Scotland Conservancy office as soon as possible. This gives us time to get in touch with you and the new owner to give advice about the grant scheme contract.