The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Scottish Forestry triples grant for bracken control

Controlling bracken is vital for woodland creation.

Scottish Forestry is more than tripling the grant rate — from £225 to £720 per hectare — for the manual and mechanical control of bracken in Scotland.

Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Ultimately this will help in getting new trees in the ground, resulting in a welcome boost to our yearly woodland creation targets.”

The increase in support for bracken control comes in advance of the Woodland Creation Summit, which is to be held in Perthshire on 12 December. Scotland has ambitious woodland creation targets, aiming to create 18,000 hectares of new woodland by 2024-25.

Ayrshire-based stalker Chris Dalton, who specialises in woodland roe deer, said: “Bracken is a damaging and invasive plant and I have been involved in some schemes — particularly around creating and planting wildflower margins and meadows— which have been difficult to establish due to bracken.

“It is interesting that such support, despite being called for over many years, is now miraculously appearing as we rush headlong to plant trees, a policy which does give me cause for concern.”