20 November 2020

The Forestry Commission has launched improvements to the Woodland Creation Planning Grant.

The Woodland Creation Planning Grant helps cover the costs of producing a UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) compliant woodland creation plan. This can support applications to other funding sources for woodland creation, such as the Woodland Carbon FundCountryside Stewardship. For more information visit our GOV.UK page on the Woodland Creation Planning Grant or watch our video below.

So, what’s changing?

  • A reduction to the minimum eligible application size from 10 hectares to 5 hectares
  • A reduction to the minimum eligible block size from 5 hectares to 0.5 hectares
  • A removal of the requirement for 70% of the species proposed for planting to achieve minimum growth rates
  • Introduction of standard specifications for some specialist surveys
  • Changes to streamline parts of the process and reduce duplication with the regulatory processes that control woodland creation
  • The payment structure, described above, will not be changing. But a minimum payment of £500 for Stage 2 will be introduced for schemes under 10 hectares

These enhancements to the grant will support a broader range of woodland creation and enable more landowners, farmers, land managers and public bodies to develop their plans.

Those already in receipt of a Woodland Creation Planning Grant Stage 1 offer may request the addition of new blocks of proposed woodland over 0.5 hectares. If the additional areas are accepted the future Stage 2 offer will include these areas. To bring the additional blocks into the agreement, Stage 1 agreement holders will need to submit a revised Stage 1 checklist in the revised Woodland Creation Design Plan Template (see the How it works section under stage 1) which accounts for the expanded project area. No additional Stage 1 payment will be made. We will not retrospectively add new areas to existing Stage 2 agreements; current Stage 2 agreement holders who would like to extend their project areas in line with the new rules will need to submit a new application.

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