Transition of England’s Woodland Creation Offer to New Local Nature Recovery Scheme

The majority of new applications for Woodland Creation payments from 2025 will be made through the Local Nature Recovery scheme.

Farmers and landowners in England are being encouraged to apply for a share of £25 million in funding to support woodland creation and tree planting.

Funding is on offer over the coming year ahead of the Forestry Commission’s England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) becoming part of the Local Nature Recovery Scheme (one of the new environmental land management schemes) from 2025.

Landowners and farmers could get a one-off payment of £8,500 per hectare, followed by annual maintenance payments of £300 per hectare for 10 years. Higher payment rates are also available which offers thousands more for schemes that provide additional public benefits.

The future design of the upcoming Local Nature Recovery Scheme, and the approach to payment rates for planting trees, will largely mirror those within EWCO.

It is anticipated that existing EWCO agreement holders will have the opportunity to transition their maintenance payments into the Local Nature Recovery scheme from 2026. This confirms a government pledge that farmers will not be made worse off if they start planting now, rather than waiting for future government schemes.

Richard Stanford, the Forestry Commission’s Chief Executive, said:

‘Farmers and land managers can now have the confidence to grow trees under EWCO, safe in the knowledge that they will be able to easily transition into the Local Nature Recovery Scheme in the future, and without the worry that future schemes will be significantly different.’

Applications may be submitted at any time.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)