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How a Scottish farmer transformed farm biodiversity with trees

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Lloyds Bank is committed to being a leading UK commercial bank for sustainable growth, helping our clients’ transition to sustainable business models and operations, and to pursue clean growth opportunities.

A Scottish farmer with a passion for nature has created a 100-acre “wildlife corridor” by transforming his land, with new, native broadleaf trees, with preserving farm biodiversity core to his project goals.

Chris Addison-Scott recently received subsidised trees through the Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods scheme to support the transformation of a parcel of arable land on his Fife estate.

Funded by Lloyds Bank, the scheme has already helped over 3,000 landowners with their planting projects.


John Bridges / WTML

Balancing food production and nature goals

When speaking about balancing the needs of a productive farming business with his nature-based goals, Chris explained the minimal impact the planting scheme has had on the productive farm land.

Clever woodland design means his 1,000 new trees will have a significant impact for nature without taking up too much space.

“Several years ago we had sown an area of canary grass and it so happened that this area connected a large piece of woodland on a couple of neighbouring estates.

“By planting more trees it has created a perfect wildlife corridor, linking perhaps over 100 acres of diversified cover.”

Wildlife corridors are important as they bridge the gap between habitats, which otherwise would be small and isolated, and join them together.

Linking core wildlife habitats helps to restore and preserve biodiversity, allowing movement between important habitats to maintain genetic diversity in wildlife populations.

Emma Briggs, who manages the Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods scheme, said: “It’s inspiring to see what Chris has done on his farm.

“These trees will be essential for so many reasons – not least for boosting biodiversity and combating climate change.

“Our MOREwoods scheme is an easy, effective and low cost way for landowners to bring more nature to their land.”

A farm steeped in family history

Chris’ family has been farming on the Kinloss Estate for generations – since his great-grandfather bought the farm in 1887.

In those days it was mainly down to grass but his father started to grow arable crops on the farm in the mid 1960s, something that Chris has continued.

The business has now evolved into a mixed farm growing cereals and broccoli, with additional parcels of land let out for grazing.


Adam Burton / WTML

Most of the farm is now tended by contractors as opposed to direct employees, as Chris’ day-job as a land agent for Galbraith takes up much of his time.

However, he and his wife Margo, have also diversified into other ventures, letting out holiday cottages on the site.

The farm is blessed with wildlife features as the couple had already created water habitats and hedgerows.

There is a burn – or stream – which runs through the farm and an old mill pond which they restored in the 1990s.

The Addison-Scott’s have continued their passion for championing the countryside by hosting the Fife Show, which they began around 15 years ago.

The event connects locals, attracting about 10,000 visitors on show day in May, as well as showcasing their land.

Protecting trees from predators

Chris has placed strong importance on ensuring a high survival rate of his new trees.

To protect the saplings from predators, tree guards have been incorporated into the scheme, but Chris has gone one step further to protect his new crop, adding: “We’re able to inspect the site at least once a fortnight to carry out any repairs to the tubes.

“So far after one growing season the new trees are doing really well, with perhaps less than 5% losses.”

Chris first heard about MOREwoods through his bank Relationship Manager. Liking the low levels of bureaucracy often associated with other woodland schemes, he decided to pursue a project; “It really has worked for us, and I would definitely recommend it as a way to increase nature on your land.”

Find support for your own planting scheme

The MOREwoods scheme is open to anyone looking to plant at least 500 trees on at least half a hectare.

The Woodland Trust can offer expert guidance tailored to each scheme from local woodland creation advisors, arrange delivery and tree protection, and cover up to 75% of costs.

To find out more contact your bank Relationship Manager or visit

Lloyds Bank plc. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under Registration Number 119278.

The Woodland Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales (No. 294344) and in Scotland (No. SC038885).

A non-profit-making company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 1982873. The Woodland Trust logo is a registered trademark.