Scottish Rural Development Programme

Funding for rural Scotland is available through the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014–2020.

The AECS 2018 application window is now open and will run for 12 weeks from 17th January to 13th April, with 31st May for collaborative projects which involve 5 or more businesses.

The main priorities of SRDP are to:

  • enhance the rural economy
  • support agricultural and forestry businesses
  • protect and improve the natural environment
  • address the impacts of climate change
  • support rural communities

The Scottish Government delivers SRDP in partnership with other public bodies, including Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland.

Find out more on the Scottish Government SRDP web pages.

SRDP 2014–2020 schemes

Current schemes include:

Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS)
Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS)

AECS promotes land management that protects and enhances Scotland’s natural heritage, improves water quality, manages flood risk, and helps us to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The AECS 2018 application window was opened on 17th January and will close of the 13th April, with the closing date for collaborative projects involving 5 or more businesses extended until the 31st May.

AECS also provides funding for access projects, under the Improving Public Access (IPA) option. While applicants can begin preparing their IPA applicants now, there is a separate opening period and they must wait until the 2018 round is officially opened before starting adding applications on to the Rural Payments and Services system.   The IPA 2018 application window is expected to run from Monday 19th March 2018 to Thursday 31st May 2018 inclusive.  Further details can be found on the Improving Public Access (IPA) web page.

FGS supports the sustainable management of existing woodlands and the creation of new woodlands. FGS also offers funding for access projects in woodland, as part of the Woodland Improvement Grant – Woods In and Around Towns (WIAT).

Applying to SRDP for designated sites

You may wish to apply to SRDP for funding to manage your designated site – Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA) or Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

We strongly recommend that you contact us to discuss your proposal before you submit your application. 

How to get help or advice on SRDP

SNH has four main SRDP enquiries teams:

North (Highland, Orkney, Shetland)
Telephone (Golspie): 01408 634 063

East (Tayside, Grampian, Forth)
Telephone (Edinburgh): 0131 316 2600

South (Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Borders)
Telephone (Dumfries): 0300 067 3200

West (Argyll, Outer Hebrides)
Telephone (Oban): 0300 244 9360

Alternatively, view details for your local Scottish Natural Heritage area office.

You can also raise queries with your local Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division (SGRPID) enquiries team.

For queries about forestry and SRDP, contact your local Forestry Commission Scotland conservancy office.


Previous SRDP schemes

AECS and FGS replace the two 2007–2013 SRDP schemes below:

Any existing contracts under these schemes will continue until their expiry date.