England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO)

The England Woodland Creation Offer


The Forestry Commission has opened a new multimillion tree planting grant scheme – the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) to provide greater financial incentives for landowners and farmers to plant and manage trees.

With £15.9 million available in its first year, the grant scheme, now open to applications, will provide enhanced payments rates. It will give greater recognition of the public and environmental benefits that woodlands bring, by providing additional incentives to ensure the right tree is planted in the right place, and for the right reason.

A new maximum cap per hectare of £10,200 (averaged across the scheme) for standard costs – this indicates the intention is to fund at 100% as opposed to 80% or £6,800 available under Countryside Stewardship. The usual standard items are available with new 2023 rates including the following:

Item Unit Previous Rate Revised Rate
Supply and plant tree /tree £1.60 £1.72
Supplement for use of individual tree shelters /each £2.00 £2.43
Ground preparation (scarification for natural colonisation) /ha £121.85 £121.85
Mulch mats /each £1.79 £1.79
Stone wall top wiring /m £4.50 £5.54
Dry stone wall repair /m £31.25 £31.91
Post and wire fencing /m £5.00 £7.92
Sheep netting /m £6.13 £9.34
Deer fencing /m £9.00 £10.27
Rabbit netting supplement /m £3.12 £5.65
Difficult site fencing supplement (eligible for stock and deer) /m £1.55 £3.98
Strike markers /m £0.74 £0.93
Badger gate /gate £168.75 £61.81
Metal field gate /gate £318.80 £340.00
Wooden field gate /gate £487.00 £612.00
Vehicle deer gate /gate £430.75 £749.63
Pedestrian/bridle gate or kissing gate /gate £424.75 £447.60
Pedestrian deer gate /gate £339.40 £475.44
Water gates /gate £300.00 £532.80
Deer exclosure plots /each £170.00 £212.56
Deer high seat /each £375.00 £265.00
Shooting mounds 3m wide x 2m high /each £250.00 £250.00
Chemical bracken control /ha £212.00 £270.90
Mechanical bracken control /ha £211.25 £190.90
Bracken control supplement for follow up treatment /ha £191.25 £191.25
Small leaky woody dam (1m – 2.99m) /each £461.39 £461.39
Large leaky woody dam (3m – 5m) /each £764.42 £764.42
Hard base for livestock drinkers /each £110.00 £179.15
Pasture pump and associated pipework /each £220.00 £295.90
Ram pump and associated pipework /each £1,480.00 £1,861.00
Livestock trough /each £110.00 £152.92
Pipework associated with livestock troughs /m £2.65 £3.31

New additional supplements will be paid per hectare in Year 1 for public benefit and they’re stackable, so multiple layers may apply as follows:

It is worth noting that claiming these supplements will not prevent applicants from generating income from timber or carbon in due course.

It looks like status quo for maintenance agreements, with payments held at £350 per hectare for 10 years – however rumours persist the Forestry Commission are looking at the feasibility of extending this to 15 year agreements – watch this space!

Landowners are being encouraged to seek additional private finance and registration under the Woodland Carbon Code is facilitated during the application process for the new grant, visit CarbonStore for help with registrations.

As a company, Tilhill are currently seeking clarification from the Forestry Commission on a few points, so that we can advise clients old and new in their best interests and take full advantage of the benefits offered by this exciting scheme.

For further information and friendly, expert advice, please contact us using the ‘Talk to us’ form at the bottom of this page.