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Woodland Creation in England

Woodland Creation in England

There are 3 main funding schemes available for woodland creation in England.

1. Woodland creation funding to improve biodiversity and water quality

The Woodland Creation Grant element of Countryside Stewardship supports you where your woodland will help one or more of the following:

  • Local biodiversity
  • Water objectives
  • Climate change mitigation or adaption

You can apply for capital funding to establish new woodland, including planting trees and installing tree guards, fencing and gates. You could receive up to 80% of the standard costs for these items and a contribution of 40% of the cost of roads and tracks needed to support the woodland’s establishment. Payments are capped at an average £6800 per hectare across the area for planting and protection (not including roads and tracks).

Example rates paid are:

  • Tree planting                  £1.28/tree
  • Tree shelter                    £1.60/shelter
  • Fencing                          £4.00/metre

To be eligible for the Woodland Creation Grant:

  • You must have control of the land and all activities needed to meet the obligation for the 2 years of the agreement and the subsequent 5 years from the date of final payment.
  • You must be registered in the Rural Payments service
  • Your land must be registered in the Rural Payments service and linked to your Single Business Identifier.
  • The land must not already be classified as existing woodland.

You can continue to claim Basic Payment Scheme on land in the Woodland Creation Grant providing you meet all the eligibility requirements.

To be eligible applications must meet the following threshold:

  • Minimum area per application                 3ha
  • Minimum block size                                 0.1ha
  • Minimum width                                       20m

The grant cannot pay for the cost of:

  • Capital works started before the agreement start date.
  • Planning application fees or other transactional fees.
  • Agent or advisory fees.
  • Meeting legal requirements, including planning conditions.
  • Woodland creatin for short rotation coppice and/or short rotation forestry.

More information can be found HERE

2. Funding to plan and design a new woodland

New woodlands need to be designed to fit within the landscape and accommodate features of interest. A woodland creation design plan needs to be written to show that the proposed woodland is compliant with the UK Forest Standard (UKFS).

The Woodland Creation Planning Grant provides funding to help cover the costs of producing a UKFS compliant woodland creation design plan, which can support applications to other funding sources for woodland creation, such as the Woodland Carbon Fund.

To be eligible:

  • The land must be located in England and
  • Must be a minimum of 5ha or more in total size. If the proposal is split into different blocks, each block must be a minimum of 0.5ha and a minimum width of 20m.

You can apply for £1000 to complete Stage 1 of the Woodland Creation Design Plan Template which is a desk-based exercise to identify the constraints and opportunities that may affect the proposed planting.

If the proposal passes Stage 1 then you may claim up to £150 per hectare, minus the £1000 provided for stage 1, to complete Stage 2. If your application is under 10ha in size then a minimum payment of £500 for stage 2 will be made.

The total funding amount is capped at £30000 per project.

More information can be found HERE

3. Funding for woodland creation to support carbon storage

The Woodland Carbon Fund supports the planting of productive, multi-purpose woodlands to store carbon. It also provides opportunities to work in partnership on landscape scale projects and open up public access to woodland and increase environmental benefits.

The scheme offers capital funding for the creation of new woodland including:

  • planting trees
  • protection items - tree guards, fencing and gates.
  • forest roads for maintenance access and infrastructure that encourages public access.
  • £1,000 per ha in year 5 after you’ve successfully established your woodland.

There are 2 different funding rates you can apply for:

  • Standard planting rate: this applies to most proposals and pays 80% of the standard costs for planting and establishment capital items, capped at £6,800 per ha
  • Priority places planting rate: this applies to proposals near to urban areas, which give access to the public on foot, and you get 100% of the standard costs for planting and establishment capital items, capped at £8,500 per ha.

In addition to planting trees, you can get funding for:

  • added recreational features such as footpaths - paid at 80% of actual costs (100% in priority places), capped at 10% of the total cost of your application.
  • forest roads and tracks that support access so you can successfully establish, maintain and harvest woodland - paid at 40% of actual costs, capped at 10% of the total application cost.

To be eligible the land must meet the following size thresholds:

  • 10 ha or more to be planted as woodland, as either:
    • one continuous standalone block of 10 hectares or more, or
    • at least 10 hectares of new planting in stands that are no more than 50 meters from either one another or, else from existing woodland, where the objective of the new planting clearly remains to establish productive woodland.
  • For any given block of woodland, integral open space is no more than 20 meters wide, no more than 0.5 hectares in extent, and completely surrounded by woodland or forest.

You must include productive tree species on 70% of the net planted area in your woodland design.

Proposals under the Woodland Carbon Fund are also eligible for the Woodland Creation Planning Grant to develop a UKFS compliant Woodland Creation Design Plan.

More information can be found HERE

Earn extra income from selling carbon

If your project is not cost-effective with a Woodland Creation or Woodland Carbon Fund grant alone, you might be able to earn further income by selling carbon credits from your project.

To do this you need to register with the Woodland Carbon Code. Validation/verification to this standard provides assurance of the carbon savings and access to the voluntary carbon market.

Bronwin & Abbey are registered as project developers with the Woodland Carbon Code and have successfully achieved verification of projects through the scheme.

More information on the Woodland Carbon Code can be found HERE