Special Environmental Sites and Schemes

16. Farm Woodland Premium Scheme

This is open to farmers throughout England and encourages the planting of new woods on land currently in productive agriculture, thereby enhancing the farmed landscape and environment. Annual payments are available depending on the type of land to be planted, for either 15 years for mainly broad-leaved woodland or 10 years for mainly conifer woodland.  Research has shown that, although sites established under the farm woodland scheme were still very young (no more than 10 years old), there were signs that declining farmland birds such as Linnet, Yellowhammer, Skylark and Song Thrush were making use of the woodlands surveyed.  Well designed woodland enhances the landscape and provides useful habitat for a number of species.

Land eligible under Defra's Arable Area Payments Scheme will attract the highest rate of grant. These payments are in addition to the full range of grants payable by the Forest Authority under the Woodland Grant Scheme. Annual payments, applicable from April 1997, range from £60 to £300 per hectare depending upon the type of land to be planted.  Farmers are able to make a single application for both the Woodland Grant Scheme and the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme. Application packs are available from local Forestry Authority Conservancy offices.

The FWPS is part funded by the EU. Until 1 January 2000 it was governed by EC Regulation 2080/92 on forestry measures in agriculture and all approvals issued before that date are still governed by that Regulation. All approval issued on or after 1 January 2000 are governed by EC Rural Development Regulation (1257/99)

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