Woodland Creation Grants – Up to £8,500 per hectare
If you’re planning to create a new woodland on your property you may be eligible for a number of grants. Here we set out funding currently available in 2022.
Woodlands are a unique asset with potential to provide a variety of benefits for their owners and users. Converting marginal or unproductive land into new woodland could create a new income stream for farmers and landowners.
If you’re planning to create a new woodland on your property, then it is possible that you may be eligible for a number of grants. Here we set out funding currently available:
Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG)
The WCPG supports the design of new woodland and helps pay for advice and guidance to enable a higher rate of success in gaining approval and grant funding for new woodland by ensuring compliance with the UK Forestry Standards.
The funding will support you to gather and analyse the information that you need to ensure your proposal takes into account landscape, biodiversity, water, historic environment and local stakeholders.
The WCPG is a two-stage process with £1,000 available initially to help cover the costs of a desk-based exercise to identify any constraints and opportunities that may affect any proposed planting. If the Forestry Commission believes there is potential for woodland creation to take place on the proposed site, then claimants can apply for a stage 2 payment as follows:
- Apply for up to £150/ha plus a 70% contribution to any environmental surveys required
- Total funding is capped at £30,000 per project
- The WCPG is open for applications all year round
- A UK Forestry Standard compliant plan for woodland creation will be required showing constraints and opportunities and how these will be accounted for
- Payments will be received in two stages and you may also be eligible for supplementary payments
- 5-hectare minimum size although the grant is more suited to larger sites
- The proposed woodland can be split into different blocks but each block must meet the definition of a woodland as set out by the National Forestry Inventory being “a minimum area of 0.5 hectares and a minimum width of 20 meters”
- Those who currently claim Countryside Stewardship on the woodland are not eligible to apply
Grants for woodland creation are available via two schemes:
The England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) and the Woodland Carbon Guarantee (WCaG).
England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO)
This grant supports the creation of new woodland and offers standard capital costs for tree planting of up to £8,500 per hectare. The grant permits timber to be sold from the woodland for extra income and provides £300/ha annual maintenance payments for up to 10 years. Additional Contributions may be available for:
- Nature Recovery: £1,100 – £2,800 per hectare
- Water Quality: £400 per hectare
- Reduced Flood Risk: £500 per hectare
- Riparian Buffers: £1,600 per hectare
- Close to Settlements: up to £500 per hectare
- Public Access: up to £2,200 per hectare
The EWCO is open for applications all year round on areas of more than 1-hectare that are not already classified as woodland. The grant is a criteria-based competitive scheme offering agreements to applicants with woodland creation proposals that meet or exceed a threshold score.
Woodland Carbon Guarantee (WCaG)
The Woodland Carbon Guarantee aims to help accelerate woodland planting rates and develop the domestic market for woodland carbon to assist with the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, an objective in the 25 Year Environment Plan. The scheme provides you with the option to sell your captured carbon on the open market, or to the government for a guaranteed price, every 5 or 10 years until 2055/56 in the form of verified carbon credits, Woodland Carbon Units (WCUs). This provides additional long-term income from the woodland and is permitted to take place alongside the other woodland creation grants outlined above.
Should you be interested in applying for any of the above grants, or if you would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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