TREE nurseries and small forestry businesses are set to benefit from £1.5 million funding so they can join in the effort to plant more trees.

The funding is being channelled through Scottish Forestry’s Harvesting and Processing Grant, which helps with the costs of specialist forestry equipment.

The funding could go towards seed trays, seed storage and sowing equipment, polytunnels, cold storage facilities and irrigation systems. Adaptations to vehicles, machinery and premises to allow tree nurseries to continue safely under COVID-19 are also supported.

Through an innovative agreement with the UK government, tree nurseries in England and Wales which supply trees to Scotland will also be able to apply for the funding.

READ MORE: £2m fund launched to boost Scottish native woodlands

Announcing the financial support, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland has very ambitious tree-planting targets which are important to our green recovery and helping us meet our climate change targets.

“To prepare for this increase in planting, we need to increase the capacity of tree nurseries so that they can produce more stock. The funding will not only assist Scottish nurseries to gear up but also others in England.

“I’m very pleased to be working with the UK Government on this funding agreement which will help more woodland to be created in Scotland.”

The funding is made up of nearly £1 million from DEFRA, £500,000 from the Scottish government and £50,000 from the Welsh Government. While tree nurseries are to be the main beneficiaries, forestry businesses based in Scotland can also apply to get financial support for a range of specialised forestry harvesting and processing equipment.

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