ARCHIVE: England Rural Development Programme

The Woodland Grant Scheme (WGS)

Woodlands and forests are an important part of the English landscape and provide essential wildlife habitats. They also play a significant role in providing jobs and economic benefits for rural communities as well as contributing to meeting our growing demand for timber.

The Woodland Grant Scheme provides incentives for the creation and management of woodlands and forests. The overall aims of the scheme are to:

  • Encourage people to create new woodlands and forests to increase the production of wood, improve the landscape, improve woodland biodiversity or offer opportunities for recreation and sport.
  • Encourage the sustainable management of forests and woodlands, including their well timed regeneration, particularly looking after the needs of ancient and semi-natural woodlands.
  • Provide jobs and improve the economy of rural areas and other areas with few sources of economic activity.
  • Provide a use for land instead of agriculture.

The WGS is run by the Forestry Commission through its network of local Conservancy offices.

The WGS provides grants to help with the creation of new woodlands and to encourage the good management of existing ones. All woodlands and forests can be considered for grants, although generally they have to be at least 1/4 hectare in area or 15 metres wide.

Basic grants for the establishment of new woodland are 700 per hectare for conifers and up to 1350 per hectare for broadleaves. Higher payments are made for planting on land of higher agricultural potential or where there is an agreement for public access.

The scheme has close links with the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme and there is a joint application procedure for the 2 schemes.

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