Rural Policy & Regulations

Crofthouse Tobha Mor, South Uist © Helen Bradley

Farmers, Foresters and other land managers are supported financially by both the Scottish Government and the EU.

Single Farm Payments – continuing payments for farmers who had been receiving subsidy in the period 2000-2003. This accounts for c85% of all EU funding under the CAP (Common Agriticultural Policy). Payments are partly conditional on following cross compliance regulations, known as GAEC, that provide protection to Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings & Designed Landscapes as well as other landscape features including dykes, copses and ponds.

Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) - This runs until 2013 and includes, farming, forestry & various community projects and payments are being delivered under one programme. There are 8 funding streams within a three-tier hierarchy of payment, all with a measure of archaeological & historic site protection. A cross compliance regime known as Statutory Management Requirements protects all archaeological sites where agri-environment payments are made.

Less Favoured Area Subsidy Scheme (LFASS) - Payments for maintaining livestock in upland areas, currently covering c85% of farm land. They have their own cross compliance regulations that include the protection of all archaeological and historic sites. Only available to farmers.

Land Manager Options (LMOs) – a self-selecting scheme of low-key management measures that require similar cross compliance regulations to LFASS when doing many of these options. Only available to farmers.

Rural priorities – competitive funding schemes for more advanced management of sites and areas that include additional management measures for archaeological & historic sites. Similar compliance regulations apply as for LMOs. Though funding is primarily aimed at land managers there are also options for community groups wishing to manage land.

Forestry payments - information on Forestry Challenge Funds (WIAT Woodlands In and Around Towns & F4P Forestry for People), additional to woodland creation and management options available under the SRDP, is available on the Forestry Commission Scotland website below

(see also our separate entry on Forestry).


Regulations & official government guidance can be seen here:


Single Farm Payment

Cross Compliance (GAEC)

Compliance regulations, for LMOs

Compliance regulations for Rural Priorities

Less Favoured Area Support Scheme

Land Manager Options

Rural Priorities



Forestry Commission Scotland


Other schemes

EU Policy

European Network for Rural Development



Northern Ireland


(last revised 14/03/12)