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Forestry Commission Grants England

There are six grants available for English woodlands.

Stewardship Of Existing Woodlands

What The Grant Is For

Woodland Planning Grant (WPG)

Preparation of plans that both assist with management of the woodland and meet the UK Woodland Assurance Standard.

Woodland Assessment Grant (WAG)

Gathering of information to improve management decisions.

Woodland Regeneration Grant (WRG)

Supporting desirable change in woodland composition through natural regeneration and restocking after felling.

Woodland Improvement Grant (WIG)

Work in woodlands to create, enhance and sustain public benefits.

Woodland Management Grant (WMG)

Contribution to additional costs of providing and sustaining higher-quality public benefits from existing woodlands.


Creation Of New Woodlands

What The Grant Is For

Woodland Creation Grant (WCG)

Encouraging the creation of new woodlands where they deliver the greatest public benefits, including annual Farm Woodland Payments to compensate for agricultural income forgone.

Click on the grant type to view further information of each grant.

Woodland Planning Grant (WPG)

Purpose

Woodland Planning Grant (WPG) contributes to the costs of producing management plans for existing woodlands that meet the planning requirements of the UK Woodland Assurance Standard.

Aims

  • To help owners to realise their own objectives, and help them access England Rural Development Programme grants and other forms of support.
  • To capture a sufficiently complete picture in order that all decisions about woodland operations are efficient based on good evidence and are sustainable.
  • To realise opportunities for sustaining and securing more public benefit from existing woodlands.
  • To support those woodland owners who choose to seek independent certification to the UK Woodland Assurance Standard.

Eligibility

  • The Forestry Commission (FC) must approve the application before you start to prepare the plan.
  • Only one Plan per property can be funded.
  • You must include all the existing woodlands on a property, of any age. Your application will be ineligible if you fail to include all of your woodland in the application.
  • The total woodland area under the Plan must be 3ha or more.
  • The final Plan must contain and clearly present all the information required by the Management Planning Template supplied by the FC (see below).
  • You may show new planting proposals in a Plan but that area will not attract WPG. You must apply separately for WCG.

Situations Not Eligible For WPG

  • A Forest Plan under WGS has already been completed and had grant paid.
  • Property is currently, or has been certified to the UK Woodland Assurance Standard.

Grant Rates

Area Of Woodland On The Property Total Grant

3 to 30 ha

£300 total

Over 30 ha and under 100ha

£10 per ha

Any additional area over 100ha

£5 per ha

Link

Woodland Planning Grant (WPG)

 

Woodland Assessment Grant (WAG)

Purpose

The Forestry Commission may consider that further information is required before decisions can be made about work in a woodland. Woodland Assessment Grant (WAG) contributes to the standard costs of undertaking these specified assessments.

Aims

The objective is to improve the sustainable management of woodland by ensuring that management decisions are based on good knowledge of the sensitivities and needs of the woodland and the opportunities to derive benefits for the public.

Eligibility

You will normally be invited to apply for this grant but uninvited applications will be considered on their merits where funding permits. The grant will generally be offered where the FC think that more specific information is required about known sensitivities in the woodland when they have:

  • Approved an application for a Woodland Planning Grant (WPG); or
  • Are considering an application for a felling licence or other grant.

An offer of grant will depend on the:

  • Availability of the required information from other sources.
  • Degree to which management decisions will rely on the required information.
  • Sensitivity of the site and any special designations such as SSSI’s or similar European designations, Ancient Woodland Sites or known Biodiversity Action Plan priority species and habitats.
  • Visibility of the site, its proximity to dwellings and the level of usage by the public.
  • Intensity, scale and significance of the proposed management and methods to be employed in activities such as harvesting and regeneration, in relation to the woodland size and sensitivities.

Situations Not Eligible For WAG

  • If the FC do not need the information to ensure that they can satisfactorily discharge their statutory duties or to deliver grants.
  • Non-woodland site.
  • Where the information is required to comply with any legislation, regulation or other grants scheme not administered by Defra or the Forestry Commission.

Eligible Assessments

ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT
In ecologically sensitive woodland (e.g. ancient or semi-natural woodland) where operations are proposed that are likely to have a significant impact.

LANDSCAPE DESIGN PLAN
In sensitive/prominent landscapes, where the planned scale or type of operations could potentially have significant visual impact.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL ASSESSMENT
Where there is evidence on the site of an interest that the proposals will affect, or where local partnerships have identified a value in further assessment, prior to operations taking place in the woodland.

DETERMINING STAKEHOLDER INTERESTS
Where a stakeholder or community meeting needs to be held to explore likely interest or where such interest has been expressed and needs to be discussed.

Grant Rates

Assessment Type Grant Rate Minimum Payment

Ecological Assessment

£5.60 / ha

£300

Landscape Design Plan

£2.80 / ha

£300

Historic and Cultural Assessment

£5.60 / ha

£300

Determining Stakeholder Interests

£300 per assessment

£300

Link

Woodland Assessment Grant (WAG)

 

Woodland Regeneration Grant (WRG)

Purpose

One of the greatest opportunities to change a woodland is when felled areas are regenerated, whether by planting or by natural seeding. This can improve both the woodland's delivery of benefits to the public and its capacity for sustainable management. Woodland Regeneration Grant (WRG) contributes to the costs of making changes to the composition of woodland within the normal cycle of felling and woodland regeneration.

Aims

The objective of Woodland Regeneration Grant is to support desirable change and an increase in a woodland’s capacity for sustainable management, arising from timely felling and appropriate regeneration.

Eligibility

  • The FC must approve the application before you start any work.
  • You must carry out any felling or pre-clearance of the woodland area in accordance with the Felling Regulations and the good practices set out in the UK Forestry Standard and associated guidelines.
  • The area of broadleaved woodland must not be diminished as a result of felling and replacing of the woodland areas.

Situations Not Eligible For WRG

We may not offer WRG for areas:

  • That have been felled illegally.
  • Where tree removal has been undertaken in an unsustainable or insensitive way i.e. the work is incompatible with either the status of the site or features on it.
  • Where conifers or exotic shrub species have been included despite being expressly excluded by the grant requirements.

Grants Available

Change From Change To Grant Rate Per Hectare Conifer Nurse Allowed

Conifer plantation

Native species

£1100

N

Broadleaved plantation

£950

Y

Conifer plantation

£360

Y

Broadleaved plantation

Native species

£1100

N

Broadleaved plantation

£950

Y

Wide-spaced broadleaved restocking

£350

Y

Conifer plantation on Ancient Woodland Sites

Native species

£1760

N

Broadleaved species

£950

N

Conifer species

£0

Y

Broadleaved plantation on Ancient Woodland Sites

Native species

£1760

N

Broadleaved species

£950

N

Ancient and other semi-natural woodland

Native species

£1100

N

Link

Woodland Regeneration Grant (WRG)

 

Woodland Improvement Grant (WIG)

Purpose

Woodland Improvement Grant (WIG) funds capital investment in woodlands, over an agreed period, to create, enhance and sustain an increase in the quantity and quality of public benefits delivered.

It is aligned with Defra’s Agri-environment Environmental Stewardship Higher Level Scheme (HLS).

Main Criteria

  • Paid as one or more contributions to the standard costs over a five-year agreement period.
  • Regional discretionary grant.
  • In due course, the criteria for the grant may change to meet regional priorities.
  • Initial contribution rate is 50-80% of the agreed costs depending on the fund and region.
  • No pre-determined eligible activities. These must be responsive to the potential of the woodland.
  • Regional Forestry Frameworks (RFF) will focus WIG on projects and activities that meet National and Regional programmes and priorities.

Types Of WIG Funds

  • Woodland Biodiversity Action Plan (including a specific measure for Red squirrels).
  • Woodland Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) Condition Improvement.
  • Woodland Access.

In addition there are currently two Regional WIG funds:

  • East England - Forest School Challenge Fund - to provide financial support and the infrastructure for Forest Schools.
  • West Midlands - Forest School Challenge Fund - to encourage schools or groups to develop the infrastructure and expertise for Forest Schools, through site development and practitioner training.

Further details of these funds are available from the appropriate Forestry Commission regional office.

Link

Woodland Improvement Grant (WIG)

 

Woodland Management Grant (WMG)

Purpose

Woodland Management Grant (WMG) aims to encourage low key, sustainable woodland practice. It is designed to protect the delivery of existing benefits to the public and improve the capacity of the woodland to increase these.

The objectives of WMG are to:

  • Contribute to the additional costs of providing public benefits that arise from meeting the UK Forestry Standard for sustainable woodland management.
  • Protect, increase and maintain the area of woodland under sustainable management.
  • Identify and address threats to woodland, prevent decline and increase the capacity for sustainable management.

Woodlands of over 30 hectares must be UKWAS certified to be eligible for WMG.

Woodlands under 30 hectares must be certified OR the application must be supported a Condition, Opportunity and Threat (COT) assessment on the FC template to be eligible.

The grant is £30 per hectare per year for 5 years.

Link

Woodland Management Grant (WMG)

 

Woodland Creation Grant (WCG)

Purpose

This grant supports the establishment of new woodlands that meet national and regional priorities. The grant is available on a competitive and regional basis, using scoring systems that select applications based on best fit with the public benefit priorities.

Aim

The aim of this grant is to generate the greatest benefits by creating woodlands:

  • Near to where people live, particularly within the urban fringe.
  • For access, recreation and sport.
  • Appropriately designed for wildlife, particularly where they can act as protective buffers and link important woodland habitats and other associated natural areas.
  • Designed to enhance the landscape.
  • To restore former industrial land.

This grant has three elements that can be applied for depending on the eligibility of the site and the applicant.

  • Woodland Creation Grant (WCG)
    Contributes to the costs of establishing new woodlands that deliver benefits to the public.
  • Additional Contributions (AC)
    Extra contribution towards the costs of creating new woodland in certain situations such as location, and woodland uses (e.g. as public access).
  • Farm Woodland Payments (FWP)
    Compensation for agricultural income lost when creating new woodland on agricultural land.

Grant Rates

Woodland Creation Grant Categories Rate Per Hectare Broadleaves Rate Per Hectare Conifers

Standard, Small Standard, Native, Community Woodland

£1800

£1200

Special Broadleaved Woodland

£700

n/a

Additional Contributions pay between £500 and £2000 for woodlands that are either created near people, provide access or are within Ancient Woodland Priority Areas.

Farm Woodland Payments are available for creating woodland on agricultural land. These payments are between £60 and £300 per hectare per year for up to 15 years.

Regional Scoring For New Woodland

The FC applies a scoring system to Woodland Creation Grant applications. The highest ranked applications are then considered for grant support.

Each region has its own scoring form which should be used for applications within that region.

Region 2005 Threshold Score 2006 Threshold Score* Fast Track Score 2007

East England

3

3

6

East Midlands

15

10

14

North East

11

10

14

North West

12

10

16

South East

14

10

14

South West

10

10

14

West Midlands

12

10

15

Yorks & Humber

14

10

18

*In 2006 a few schemes scoring less than the threshold were accepted where they clearly delivered public benefits.

Fast Track Score

If applications achieve the fast track score and there are funds still available, the application will be processed before the 28 September 2007 deadline.

Link

Woodland Creation Grant (WCG)