A major new multi-million pound tree planting grant to provide greater financial incentives for England’s landowners and farmers to plant and manage trees.
This programme is being delivered by the Forestry Commission. It is funded through the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund. It is s an inclusive and flexible offer of grant that replaces the Woodland Carbon Fund, which closed for applications in March 2021.
Objectives of Fund
The Government has put trees are at the forefront of its plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The aim is to help to stem biodiversity loss and create thousands of green jobs while better connecting people with nature as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Landowners and farmers will be offered greater financial incentives to plant and mange trees through the new England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO). The scheme will support a range of woodland types and sizes, including through natural colonisation, and especially where their location and design will provide public benefits.
The scheme will support the creation of over 10,000 hectares of new woodland over its lifetime. The grant will continue the current approach of focusing funding predominantly on the establishment of native broadleaf woodlands at a large scale, but also supporting well-designed majority conifer and mixed woodlands.
The existing Woodland Creation Planning Grant, relaunched in November 2020, will integrate with the new grant for greater ease of application, and the EWCO application form will make it easier for customers to register with the Woodland Carbon Code.
After 2024, EWCO will lead into new future environmental schemes. As set out in the government’s Agricultural Transition Plan, the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery Schemes will provide support for publicly funded woodland creation. EWCO agreement holders will be able to break their EWCO agreement at agreed points without penalty once they have secured a place in these schemes.
Some customers of existing woodland creation schemes may be able to move to EWCO. Further information on who will be eligible to apply will be provided when the grant opens.