Mixed woodland and forestry near Pitlochry, Perthshire © Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.nature.scot

Scottish Rural Development Programme

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

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.

AECS also provides funding for access projects, under the Improving Public Access (IPA) option. Further details can be found on the Improving Public Access (IPA) web page.

The AECS 2019 application window is open from 16 January to 12 April (or 31 May for collaborative applications involving five or more RPID-registered businesses).

Improving Public Access scheme ends

The Improving Public Access (IPA) aspect of AECS will not reopen for applications in 2019, following a record number of high quality applications in 2018.  In recognition of the increased demand in 2018, £3.5m has been allocated to deliver new and upgraded paths across Scotland's rural areas this year, but this success means that the programme budget is now fully committed.  Information is being provided to stakeholders and key customers and included on RPID and SNH websites.  

Any IPA queries can be direct to IPA Co-ordinator Bridget Jones; [email protected]

Forestry Grant Scheme

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): 01463 701 608
Email: mailto:[email protected]

East (Tayside, Grampian, Forth)
Telephone (Battleby): 01738 444177
Email: mailto:[email protected]

South (Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Borders)
Telephone (Dumfries): 01738 458678
Email: mailto:[email protected]

West (Argyll, Outer Hebrides)
Telephone (Oban): 0300 244 9360
Email: mailto:[email protected]

Regional map for SNH enquiries

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.

Find out more

Land and sea management

Guidance - to assist with hedge and small-scale tree planting in AECS - Trees and shrubs native to Scotland