GSA Biosphere & Ayrshire Tree Planting Programme: South Ayrshire Pilot

The South Ayrshire Pilot Grant from the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere and Ayrshire Tree Planting Programme funds the planting of individual or small groups of trees. This will add landscape and biodiversity value to the south of Scotland countryside, for the benefit of people, communities and wildlife. Historically, Ayrshire was dominated by broadleaves woodland but, due to human activities, less than 1% of the land area in Ayrshire now supports native or semi-native woodland. Planted coniferous woodlands, mostly of Sitka spruce, make up 84% of all the woodland in Ayrshire. We are also losing trees to disease and old age and we want to encourage people to plant more trees.

This project is funded by South Ayrshire Council and is administered by the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.

Who can apply?

Funding is available to individuals and organisations to plant trees on less than 0.25 hectares, which will add landscape and biodiversity value to the South Ayrshire countryside for the benefit of people, communities and wildlife. We encourage projects designed to be complementary to other natural heritage projects that may have conservation or amenity aims.

Land located within South Ayrshire and the GSA UNESCO Biosphere, as shown on the map below, is eligible.

What kind of projects are not eligible?

Hedge planting, planting within private gardens, on deep peat or wildflower rich grasslands, or where the scheme requires draining, are ineligible, as are planting projects required as a condition of Planning Consent or of Felling Permission. Find more information in our Grant Information sheet.

What funding is available?

Grants of up to £1,000 are available, as follows:

Landowners, farmers and individuals: A grant of up to 100% of material costs (i.e. trees, shelters, guards, stakes, fencing, mulch mats, etc.). Maximum award value: £1,000 (excluding VAT if recoverable).

Not-for-profit making organisations such as schools and community groups: A grant of up to 100% of materials costs, labour and site preparation. Maximum award value: £1,000 (excluding VAT if recoverable).

Please note the maximum grant available is £1,000 per applicant per year.

How do I apply?

Please ensure you have read our Grant Information Sheet as well as our Tree Planting Guide. GSA Biosphere staff can give guidance and assist with planting design and species choice. When you have read those documents, you can download and save the Application Form and send it electronically to before 15th March 2024. 


Before submitting your application, you should:

    • Obtain the landowner’s consent if you do not own the land that you wish to plant.
    • Check for presence of services such as gas lines, water pipes or electricity and telephone cables (tree planting should not be located within 10m of a powerline).
    • Obtain the approval of South Ayrshire Council if planting is proposed within 5 meters of the edge of a public road or highway or might impair road safety.
    • Check for any existing planning restrictions or site designations such as those relating to archaeology or deep peat.

Who do I contact for help?

If you would like more information, please contact Antoine on 07469 646937 or at