Carter Jonas
Carter Jonas

Be quick for best chance of forestry grant success

A new grant intended to help land owners and managers plan new woodland in England is open for applications.

The Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG) will contribute towards the costs of gathering and analysing information to ensure proposals take account of potential impacts on landscape, water, and the historic environment. It will also help support stakeholder engagement and understanding.

Planning a scheme can often involve significant expense and help at this early stage is to be welcomed. The forestry sector’s ambition for more woodlands in England will be helped by this scheme, making it easier to create woodland and secure funding from investors.

Applications will be considered as they are submitted and while funds are still available so it makes sense to make submissions as early as possible or an opportunity to kick-start a scheme could be missed.

The grant is part of the new £1 million Forestry Innovation Fund and £200,000 has been allocated for the WCPG fund for this year. The funding and administration of the grant is separate from Countryside Stewardship and the deadline for applications is February 15, 2016, allowing time following allocation of a grant for the plan to be completed and submitted if possible before March 31, 2016, when funding for the pilot scheme closes. There are provisions for submission of receipts for costs incurred to be submitted in advance of 31 March if the plan is not complete by this time.

approve the report, with or without modifications or reject it. 

5: Open – once approval is received, preparations are made on the ground and the necessary legal paperwork is completed. The new public rights come into force and works are undertaken. 

The plan should describe and address the planting scheme’s impacts through careful design. Land managers need to ensure their proposals take account of any impacts on forestry and the natural environment; landscape; water; and the historic environment.

The Standard Payment is £150 per hectare up to a maximum of £30,000. It covers the collection and analysis of all essential information to create an informed plan. Proposals need to meet some basic criteria, covering at least 30 hectares in area and showing potential to benefit the forestry sector in the long-term through the provision of timber or other wood products.

The one major obstacle for many people wanting to plan woodland is the large scale of the enterprise that the grant scheme demands. A plot of 30 hectares or more is a major visual impact on the landscape and an equally large financial commitment due to the potential diminution in capital value if land is removed from agriculture.

Further information, including details on eligibility and how to apply, can be found on Forestry Commission England’s website by clicking here.

Christopher D'OlleyMRICS

Partner

Christopher D'Olley is a Rural Partner in the Winchester office. He is a Chartered Surveyor and Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, with over 30 years experience. Work undertake...

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