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Grants & Licences

A range of grants and a favourable tax regime exist to encourage continued development of Britain’s forest and woodland resource.

In all cases, forestry grants require application and approval before work begins. The principal grant schemes are administered by the Forestry Commission, Forestry Commission Scotland and Natural Resources Wales. Application to the grant schemes vary between England, Scotland and Wales. Tilhill covers the whole of the UK and are therefore well versed in the details that each scheme entails.

Grant Availability Overview:

Scotland

Scotland’s woodlands and forests are a vital national resource and play an important role in rural development and sustainable land use.

As well as helping to reduce the impacts of climate change and providing timber for industry, the forests enhance and protect the environment and provide opportunities for public enjoyment.

The Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS) will support:

  • The creation of new woodlands – contributing towards the Scottish Government target of 10,000 hectares of new woodlands per year.
  • The sustainable management of existing woodlands.
  • During the Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014–2020, £252 million will be available through this scheme.

Farm woodlands

Woodland creation on your farm has the potential to bring less productive land back into use whilst increasing the value of your farming asset and rationalising farm units for you and your future generations.

Grants are available through the Forestry Grant Scheme as part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) in order to promote woodland creation with strong Scottish Government support to secure future home grown timber supplies.

Visit our case study page to see illustrations of the benefits of creating and maintaining woodland on your farm.

Sheep and Trees

A new funding package for hill and upland farms is now available through Forestry Commission Scotland. The Sheep and Trees Forestry Grant Package brings together two different elements of the Forestry Grant Scheme. Uniquely, it enables you to apply for both a Woodland Creation grant and the Forest Infrastructure grant for the same area at the same time.

This means you’ll be able to build access routes to help you get started and then manage your new farm woodland as it grows. It creates an excellent opportunity for you to diversify your business and bring previously unconsidered parts of your farmland into production.

Wales

Grant aid is available via the Glastir Woodland Creation (GWC) and Glastir Woodland Restoration (GWR).

GWC grants are awarded on a competitive points system with expressions of interest currently being invited twice a year. Grant rates depend on the type of planting and are bolstered by ‘income foregone’ and ‘Basic’ (formerly Single Farm) payments.

GWR is available to replant areas of Larch irrespective of whether they have been infected with Phytophthora ramorum disease. There are restrictions on what species can be planted back if the site is classified as Plantation on Ancient Woodland (PAWS) which many Larch stands in Wales are.

England

Countryside Stewardship is a Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) grant scheme. It will contribute around £900 million over six years to help farmers and woodland managers look after the environment.

Funding is available to:

  • Support the preparation of woodland management plans.
  • Woodland tree health, restoration and improvement.

England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO)

EWCO will be designed to allow farmers to make the most of green finance opportunities. For example, applicants will be supported to register their planting under the Woodland Carbon Code wherever eligible, to allow the future sale of high quality woodland carbon credits to private buyers.

Additional contributions will be available for:

  • nature and species recovery – between £1,100/ha to £2,800/ha available where woodland creation will help woodland-dependent priority species to recover;
  • tree planting near watercourses and rivers (riparian buffers) – £1,600/ha available where the creation of native broadleaved woodland along water courses will improve river habitats;
  • reduced flood risk – £500/ha available where woodland creation can help reduce the risk of flooding;
  • improved public access – £2,200/ha available where woodland creation will provide long-term permissive access to the public to enjoy
  • close to settlements – £500/ha available where woodland creation will provide social and environmental benefits by being close to people;
  • improved water quality – £400/ha available for woodlands that clean our water by reducing pollutants through land use change by intercepting pollution and sediment before it reaches watercourses.

 

Woodland Carbon Fund: Now Closed

The Woodland Carbon Fund is a grant to support the planting of predominantly productive large scale woodlands (>30 hectares with a minimum block size of 10 hectares), providing opportunities to work in partnership at a landscape scale, to improve public access to woodland and achieve wider environmental outcomes.

Maximum grants available range between £6,800 and £8,500 per hectare depending on the site’s location, with the higher rate available near to urban areas and if you provide permissive access to the public on foot. Additional support is available as a contribution to the installation of infrastructure such as footpaths to support recreation.

This is a demand-led grant scheme designed to boost the rate of woodland creation and to visibly demonstrate, by taking a natural capital approach, that woodland creation can help to meet the government’s future carbon targets alongside delivering other benefits.

For more information about the current grant schemes in England, Scotland and Wales, call your local Forest Manager or email enquiries@tilhill.com.