As we are sure you will be aware, the impact of the Covid-19 Coronavirus continues to accelerate and affect many people’s lives in every aspect including the industries and workplaces they are part of.  We have been closely monitoring the guidance given by both the Government and the Legal Services Governing bodies about how and what work we can continue during this time to ensure we keep staff, clients and their families safe and help slow the speed of the virus.

With such uncertain times, the third party services and other industries we rely on to progress the work we do for clients are having to take unprecedented measures (such as the recent temporary closure of the Land Register of Scotland for Applications, and direct guidance from The Law Society of Scotland that conveyancing and transactional work should be ‘paused’) to ensure their staff are safe also.  Much of what we do cannot be done without these third party services being operational. 

The Governments have not categorised workers in our field to be ‘key workers’ who can continue to travel to work and therefore in these circumstances of national emergency, we feel that we are left with no other option but to close our office premises with immediate effect until further notice or until the restrictions placed on us by our Government are lifted. This action has been taken in the interests of public health and to ensure we are not putting our staff at risk.

We have been working remotely as much as possible to date to attend to client business but there is only so much that can be done from home without our main office being operational.  We also need staff in the office to operate. As we cannot have staff in the office, we cannot have staff working from home either. Therefore we are extremely limited in what we can do for you at present.

At this time, we would ask our clients and third parties to communicate by email to . If your matter is urgent, please call 01557 330 692, However, there are currently only two of us (Ian Rodger and Ross Ireland) to deal with everything. We may not be able to respond quickly. We will try to help if we can, but are very limited in our capacity to do so at present.

We will of course continue to closely monitor the Scottish and UK Governments advice and await the release of any further information or details that will impact on the welfare of our employees, clients and our business.

Thank you for your understanding and support as we all try to adjust and allow our country to ensure the safety of its people during these unprecedented times.  We hope that we will be able our doors again soon to continue servicing the needs of our clients and community.

Stay well and stay safe.


Your Williamson and Henry Team

Close window

Forestry Transactions

Home | Services | Forestry Transactions

The purchase of woodland is a similar step-by step process to any other property purchase but again with certain peculiarities.

It is important to determine if the woodland was planted with the benefit of any grants and what conditions attach to this, are there any conditions outstanding and what forms are required to transfer any remaining subsidies and obligations. The buyer’s solicitor will then make a formal offer to the seller’s solicitor to buy the proposed area of woodland under certain conditions. This begins the missives for the transaction.

It is important to determine that there are no constraints affecting the land which would affect granting applications, planting, felling, or timber extraction. If you wish to use the land for farming or renewable energy projects, we can also advise.

Once the missives have been concluded, the parties are bound by the contract of sale and neither can back out of the deal without a penalty or remedy in law. For more on property transactions, please see our section on Residential Conveyancing.

Forestry Solicitors Dumfries & Galloway

Managing Woodland

Are There Any Restrictions on the Way I Can Use My Woodland?

There may be restrictions on the activities you can carry out within your woodland. You will require planning permission to erect most kinds of structure and certain types of structure will generally not be permitted. However there are certain types of development which do not require consent. There may also be designation over areas of your woodland if it is of special scientific interest, or subject to a tree preservation order. If so, you will require permission from the relevant body to carry out any development. Your solicitor will be able to tell you if this is the case, and assist you in acquiring permissions.

Can I Take Timber From My Woodland?

You may legally take a maximum of 5 cubic metres (cu.m) of timber from your woodland every calendar quarter. However, you may not sell more than 2 cu.m of this.

Grants or subsidies for planting my Woodland?

It is possible to obtain grants for tree planning and the subsidies available will depend on the species of tree planted. An application requires to be submitted to the Forestry Commission.

Felling Licenses

If you wish to take or sell more timber from your woodland you must obtain a felling licence from the Forestry Commission. The forestry commission will expect you to have a management plan for you woodland before granting your application. You can discuss your objectives for your woodland with your solicitor and they will be able to advise you on your application.

Can Anyone Use My Woodland?

There is legislation in Scotland which establishes statutory public rights of access to most land for recreational purposes. This was introduced under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and creates a statutory basis for the management of access rights in Scotland.

These rights allow people to pursue recreational, educational and very limited commercial uses of the countryside so long as they do so responsibly. The Act covers a wide range of activities which include walking, cycling, horse riding and skiing.

If you are a woodland or agricultural land owner you will be obliged by law to manage your land in a way which respects these access rights. Your solicitor can discuss in more detail the extent of your responsibility with you.

Experts in Forestry

For expert advice on buying or selling, call us here today at Williamson and Henry. We can also assist you in engaging a forest manager to assist with applications for grants, Forest Plans, or Felling Licences. Call us now on 01557 330 692.

This site uses cookies.
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.