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Now Open – Woodland Support, Creation & Maintenance Grants

10 February

 

Woodland Support Grants

 You can apply for the following grants all year (open from 9 February 2021) :

(Use the links above to download one of the new application forms and find details of how to request a copy of the annex which accompanies the form.)

The updated Woodland Creation and Maintenance Grant is now open.  Please read details below:

 

The Woodland Creation and Maintenance agreement is part of Countryside Stewardship. It’s made up of a capital element under which you can apply for support to create a woodland, followed by a maintenance element to maintain it.

Introduction

The agreement is new for 2021 and combines the existing Woodland Creation grant and the Woodland Creation Maintenance (WD1) payments. If successful your agreement will have two elements:

  • Woodland creation – this element runs for two years, during which you have to complete all of the capital works
  • Woodland maintenance – if you are eligible, this element begins once your capital works are completed. It runs for ten years and throughout that time we will pay you an annual grant of £200 per hectare.

You can submit an application for a Woodland Creation and Maintenance agreement at any time of the year. If you accept an offer for a grant, you will enter into an agreement with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

18 capital items are available. There is a description and essential requirements for each capital item on the Countryside Stewardship online grants finder tool. This also includes eligibility and evidence requirements.

The Woodland Creation and Maintenance agreement is made up of a 2 year capital grant element under which you can apply for support to create a woodland, followed by a 10 year maintenance element to maintain it.

The Woodland Creation element of the agreement

 The Woodland Creation element of your Woodland Creation and Maintenance agreement will run for a maximum of 2 years from the start date of your agreement. The agreement may not run for the full 2-year period if you finish the works before then.

During this period, you must complete all Woodland Creation capital works. You will then have a further 3 months from the end of this period to submit your payment claim. We will not accept claims after this date.

You must not submit your payment claim until you have paid for the Woodland Creation capital items on the claim and the payment for them has left your bank account.

You must:

  • maintain any capital items funded through the scheme in the same condition and specification set out in your agreement, for 5 years from the date of final payment of the Woodland Creation element of the agreement. This is called the ‘durability’ period of the agreement;
  • have management control of the land for the length of the Woodland Creation element of the agreement including for the 5 years durability period. See Section 3.2, which explains how this ‘durability’ requirement applies if you are a landlord or a tenant.

 Confirmation of continuation of your Woodland Creation and Maintenance agreement

If you are eligible, you will receive a letter asking you to confirm whether or not you want to enter into the Woodland Maintenance element of your Woodland Creation and Maintenance agreement.

Once you have confirmed that you want to enter into the Woodland Maintenance element of the agreement, you will be eligible for funding for the 10 year period following the initial Woodland Creation element period.

You will receive annual payments of £200 per hectare to maintain your woodland and any capital items that were funded through the Woodland Creation grant over this 10-year period.

To support the successful establishment and ongoing maintenance of new woodland you will need to:

  • keep all newly planted trees weed-free for 10 years
  • replace any trees that die
  • maintain fences, tree shelters or spiral guards
  • maintain areas of open space
  • remove individual tree protection in year 10

If you do not wish to include Woodland Maintenance element of the agreement:

 If you do not wish to enter into the Woodland Maintenance element of your Woodland Creation and Maintenance agreement, then you must continue to maintain the capital items funded through the Woodland Creation element for 5 years following the date of the final Creation payment. This is referred to as the ‘durability requirement’.

How applications are selected

 Woodland Creation and Maintenance agreements are competitive. Applications are scored and offered to those with the highest score (depending on the budget that is available). You need to score your own application first by filling in the scoring section in the Woodland Creation annex of the application form. You must send this to us with your initial application. You need to score 12 points for us to accept an initial application and to take it forward.

Once you have agreed your final application we will give it a final score. Every month we set a final threshold score based on the budget that is available. If your application has a final score equal to or greater than the final threshold score we will offer you an agreement.

The highest Woodland Creation and Maintenance grant scores are for applications that cover a large geographical area (the score is multiplied by the hectares of woodland you propose to create), and those that have the greatest positive impact on:

Incentives for planting to enhance air quality will be included in the near future.

Additional points will be awarded if you are working in a partnership at a landscape scale (involving multiple ownerships) in specific target areas.

If your application is unsuccessful you can re-apply at any time. However, you will need to change your application to increase its score so it has a chance of meeting a subsequent clearing score.

For full details of this scheme and how to apply please visit the governments website: Click Here

For guidance and information on other woodland capital grants available as part of Countryside Stewardship (Woodland Management Plans and Woodland Tree Health) read Countryside Stewardship: How to apply.

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