Better Woodlands for Wales grant scheme to close

Wales' Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones has confirmed that Better Woodlands for Wales (BWW), the woodland grant scheme delivered by Forestry Commission Wales (FCW), will close from 1 January 2011.

Woodland grants will be integrated into Glastir, the Welsh Assembly Government’s new sustainable land management scheme for Wales.

The change is the result of a review carried out by FCW into how woodland grants should be managed to ensure they deliver the Assembly Government’s Woodlands for Wales strategy.

FCW will continue to deliver woodland creation grants until 1 January 2013 via Glastir on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.

The Woodlands for Wales strategy, which was launched in 2009, places particular emphasis on woodland creation and bringing farm woodlands into management.

But research has shown that the BWW scheme has not attracted enough farmers to manage their woodlands or to plant new woodlands. And, as farmers own most of the plantable land in Wales, their involvement is essential to expand the country’s woodland cover.

Jones said: "The delivery of woodland grants via Glastir will establish a single, holistic approach to grant support for land management in Wales.
"As an integrated land management scheme, Glastir will offer support to woodland owners and farmers and will reduce bureaucracy by offering a one-stop-shop for rural grant aid."

The BWW scheme will close to new applicants at the end of December 2010 and all contracts for work supported by BWW must be approved by 31 December 2011.

Forestry Commission Wales will be involved in the design of the woodland creation grant scheme that they will deliver from Autumn 2010 on behalf of Glastir and it will also be involved in the design of the woodland grants that will be delivered by the Welsh Assembly Government via Glastir from January 2013.

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