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Funding for woodland: your options

Thu 27 February 2020

Emily Woodruff of Stags Professional Services discusses your options when it comes to funding for woodland creation.

In December 2019, the Government updated information and guidance on its Create Woodland page, which would assist landowners in applying for funding to plant and maintain woodland. DEFRA’s 25-Year Environment Plan sets out its hopes for a greener future and real progress within a generation. As a result, grants are available for creating new woodland, planting trees, improving long-term supply of timber and, crucially, for carbon reduction in line with the Clean Growth Strategy.

There are three major funding schemes available for woodland creation in England:

1. Woodland creation under Countryside Stewardship
This funding is available under the Woodland Creation Grant (WCG) element of Countryside Stewardship and supports those whose woodland will help improve water quality and biodiversity. Capital funding is available all year round to establish new woodland, plant trees and install tree guards, fences and gates. These items could be covered by up to 80% by the funding, capped at an average of £6,800 per hectare for planting and protection.

Funding applications for woodland creation are expected to include details of the proposed woodland, to ensure any scheme is compliant with the UK Forestry Standards (UKFS). This is usually in the form of a Woodland Creation Design Plan. Funding is available to help cover the costs for these plans, including:

2. Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG) 
This grant is available to contribute to the cost of gathering information for the Woodland Creation Design Plan, and you can apply for up to £150/ha, capped at £30,000 per project. The plan ensures your woodland (which must be over 10 hectares) is multi-purpose in terms of productivity, landscape impact and climate change mitigation. 

3. Woodland Carbon Fund (WCF)
This funding scheme supports the planting of productive and multi-purpose woodlands to store carbon. The scheme offers funding for the planting and protection of trees, as well as for the maintenance of forest roads. Capital funding is also available as a one-off payment per hectare in year five of the programme, following successful establishment. Any Woodland Creation Design Plan can be used to support an application under this fund.

For further information and advice regarding applications and eligibility contact Stags Professional Services today. 

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