Special Environmental Sites and Schemes

17. Woodland Grant Scheme

Planting and restocking grants from the Forestry Authority are available throughout England, to encourage the creation of new woodlands. An additional Better Land Supplement is payable for planting conifers or broad-leaves on arable land or improved grassland, and a Community Woodland Supplement is available for creation of new woods close to towns and cities which will be of value for public recreation.

All woodlands and forests can be considered for grants under the WGS. However, areas of trees too small or narrow to be thought of as woodlands will not be eligible. Normally the woodland would have to be quarter of a hectacre in area and at least 15 metres wide, but smaller woods may be eligible if the aims of the scheme are met. Grants for existing woodland are paid for the restocking of woodlands after felling or windblow, whether by planting or regeneration. Grants are also paid for the management and improvement of woodlands and the exclusion of stock from certain wood.  Planting grants are paid to encourage the creation of new woodlands. Grants for new planting are paid in 2 installments - 70% when planting is finished and 30% after 5 years. You must maintain the area to our reasonable satisfaction for at least 10 years. Grants are also available for creating new woodlands by natural regeneration. A discretionary payment is available for work needed to encourage regeneration and a Fixed Payment is made once regeneration occurs. A Community Woodland supplement is also available to encourage people create woodlands close to towns and cities which can be used for informal public recreation.

Other payments include a Livestock Exclusion Annual Premium to compensate for loss of revenue from excluding stock from woodland, payments to assist with the work required to encourage natural regeneration, and a Locational Supplement for new planting in specific areas of the country. An Annual Management Grant can be obtained to support management operations needed to conserve or improve the environmental value of woodland or to promote public access.

A Woodland Improvement Grant (WIG) is available throughout England for special projects. There are currently three projects eligible for WIG; Providing Public Recreation in Woodlands, Undermanaged Woods and Woodland Biodiversity.

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