Forestry Commission announces £17m of woodland support grants for growers and land managers

The Forestry Commission is calling on growers, farmers and land managers to apply for a slice of £17m as part of a new round of Countryside Stewardship support for woodland.

Opening of the 2017 capital grants is on 3 January 2017 and the millions of pounds will be carved up and made available to expand and manage woodland.

The commission hopes the initiative will work towards a government and sector shared ambition to achieve 12% woodland cover in England by 2060.

Countryside Stewardship is a rural development programme for England (RDPE) grant scheme. It will contribute around £900m over six years.

Growers and woodland managers use the cash to look after the environment and try and contribute to the government’s commitment to plant 11 million trees during this parliament.

Funding is available to create new woodland, support the preparation of management plans and address tree health issues.

The 1,900-hectare Clinton Devon Estates' chartered forester John Wilding said: "Countryside Stewardship has helped us achieve our heathland management and multi-annual woodland options."

Farming minister George Eustice said: "I encourage farmers and land owners across the country to apply."

A range of grants are available; a woodland creation grant and woodland planning grant alongside cash to support improvements in tree health.

Woodland creation guidance and application forms have been published to allow time for applicants to start making their plans in advance of application windows opening on 3 January.

For the woodland planning grant, a new application process will be open for applications on 3 January with application forms available around 19 December.


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