Woodland Grants

FC & NE logosDetails of the new Coun­try­side Stew­ard­ship grants, which will be com­bine the old Envi­ron­men­tal Stew­ard­ship and Wood­land Grant Schemes, are begin­ning to be released.  Last week an interim scheme was announced to cover three main areas of activity:

1.   Wood­land Plan­ning Grants
2.  Tree Health Grants
3.  Grants for Wood­land Creation

The new wood­land cre­ation grants are gen­er­ous, but only avail­able for landown­ers plan­ning to plant 3 hectares (7.4 acres) or more.  They include main­te­nance pay­ments of £200 per hectare for ten years, which were not avail­able in the last scheme, but mir­ror in some ways the pre­vi­ously very pop­u­lar Farm Wood­land Pre­mium Scheme.

More details and forms are avail­able from the gov­ern­ment web-site at https://www.gov.uk/woodland-capital-grants-2015-choose-options

In sum­mary

1.    Wood­land man­age­ment plans.  The min­i­mum area of wood­land is 3 hectares, as before.  An inter­est­ing devel­op­ment is that the Forestry Com­mis­sion will be look­ing for an agreed plan before com­mit­ting to any other grant sup­port on a wood, so for some this now becomes an essen­tial first step.  Appli­ca­tions should be accepted at any time, although the interim scheme runs until 30th June.
Grant rates are £20 per hectare, for the first 100 hectares, then £10 per hectare for addi­tional area, with a min­i­mum pay­ment of £1,000.  

2.    Wood­land Tree Health
This pro­vides sup­port for landown­ers with Phy­toph­thora ramo­rum in larch or Chalara frax­inea in ash.  The Forestry Com­mis­sion have to con­firm infec­tion in all cases.  It offers pay­ment for felling of imma­ture larch, and in some cases removal of rhodo­den­dron that is a poten­tial car­rier of the dis­ease.  Also, both ash and larch sites eli­gi­ble for replant­ing grants, on the same basis as wood­land cre­ation.
Imma­ture larch clear­ance: from £260 per hectare
Rhodo­den­dron clear­ance: from £2800 per hectare (mea­sured rhodo­den­dron)
Replant­ing grant rates: as for wood­land creation

3.    Wood­land cre­ation
Schemes must be over 3 hectares, and appli­ca­tions will be sub­ject to a scor­ing sys­tem, aimed to favour bio­di­ver­sity and flood man­age­ment.  The scor­ing sys­tem favours native broadleaves, and the tar­get is to plant an addi­tional 2000 hectares of new wood­land every year.  Ini­tial appli­ca­tions for plant­ing next win­ter must be with the Forestry Com­mis­sion by 30th April, so if you want to con­sider a big plant­ing scheme, you need to act promptly!
The basic grant  is £1.28 a tree, with a max­i­mum £6,800 per hectare, includ­ing fenc­ing and any shel­ters.  Plus ten annual main­te­nance pay­ments of £200 per hectare.

Other grants will be announced in due course.  Grant rates will be very sim­i­lar to the old Envi­ron­men­tal Stew­ard­ship Scheme, and will prob­a­bly have an annual win­dow for appli­ca­tions dur­ing the sum­mer, with grants awarded each autumn.

If you think you may have an eli­gi­ble scheme, then please send us an e-mail or give us a ring; we would be pleased to help.

Stephen Lees
01579 350050