by Max Adams
I’ve just attended a webinar on the new scheme, which replaces the Woodland Grant scheme. You can read a leaflet about it here https://www.smallwoods.org.uk/assets/Fc-England-_Woodland_Creation_A5-1.pdf and there is a full whacking great manual that you can download by following the links in the leaflet.
But… to summarise… woodland planting schemes over 1ha (2.5acres) are eligible to benefit from the grants the government is now offering via the Forestry Commission. They cover the cost of trees and shelters; pay an annual maintenance payment for ten years of £200 per hectare and help with infrastructure costs. The scheme is very similar to the old system; but for those who are willing to allow public access to their woods there is a now very attractive lump sum of up to £2,000 per hectare. There are additional incentives for supporting nature recovery and especially for planting close to rivers. Owners can also benefit from a range of carbon credit selling schemes (although I’m personally a bit sceptical about the ethics involved).
It’s worth checking the details in the manual; and new landowners still need to go through the registration for Rural payments etc, which can be a bit of a chew. But there has never been a better time to get into planting trees and investing your time and money in the landscape.