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England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO)

The England Woodland Creation Offer

A NEW GRANT OFFER FOR ENGLAND

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 £8,500 (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. A review of standard costs is also to be undertaken. The usual capital items are available including the following:

• Supply and plant a tree £1.60

• Tree shelter supplement £2

• Sheep fencing £6.13 per metre

• Deer fencing £9 per metre

• Wooden field gates £487 each

• Deer high seats £375 each

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 £200 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.

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 new scheme.

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