Woodland Carbon Fund

20 November 2017

Current situation:

The Woodland Carbon Fund is currently open to applicants for large-scale woodland planting.

Background

The Woodland Carbon Fund provides capital funding for the creation of new, productive woodland – this includes the planting of trees and associated protection items including tree guards, fencing and gates. Funding is also available for the installation of forest roads and recreational infrastructure. In addition a one off capital payment of £1000 per ha is available in year 5 to support successful establishment.

The following funding is available, subject to caps outlined below:

  • Standard Planting Rate – applies to most proposals unless in “priority places” (see below). Provides 80% of the standard costs for planting and establishment capital items, capped at £6,800 per ha.
  • Priority Places Planting Rate – applies to proposals in peri-urban areas (those areas surrounding urban areas) that also allow permissive access to the public on foot. Provides 100% of the standard costs for planting and establishment capital items, capped at £8,500 per ha; Much of the West Midlands region is included within the Forestry Commissions priorities, but you can check the Priority Places here
  • One off capital payment in year 5 of £1000 per hectare (gross including up to 20% open space) for ensuring successful establishment;
  • Funding for recreational infrastructure such as footpaths at 80% of actual costs (100% in Priority Places) , capped at 10% of the total of an individual application;
  • Funding for forest roads and tracks to support improved access for establishment, maintenance and future harvesting paid at 40% of actual costs.
  • Applicants to the Woodland Carbon Fund may still be eligible to receive funding under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) for the length of the WCF agreement, subject to meeting BPS eligibility criteria. The standard length of a WCF agreement is 5 years, however, where an agreement includes a second stage payment the agreement length extends to 10 years.
  • Is my land eligible?
  • In order to be eligible you will need to meet the following criteria:
  • You have 10 hectares of land or more to be planted (up to 20% open space permitted in final design). Your proposals must consist of either a standalone continuous block 10 hectares in area, or at least 10ha of new planting that connects or expands existing woodland. At our discretion we may also provide grant support for additional blocks of woodland creation in landscape-scale projects as long as the blocks are each at least 5 hectares in area (standalone) or a total of 5ha if connecting or expanding existing woodland.
  • The land can be in multiple ownership including where the applicant has the landowner’s written permission but does not own the land;
  • You are looking to create predominantly productive woodland (minimum General Yield Class (GYC) 6 broadleaves; GYC10 pine; GYC12 other conifers on 70% of net planted area).
  • Minimum stocking density of 2,000 stems per hectare on a net area basis.
  • Proposals to create short rotation forestry, short rotation coppice or plant fast growing species such as eucalypts for energy are not eligible.
  • For confirmation of grant-aid you will need, a UKFS-compliant Woodland Creation Design Plan (the production of which is eligible for funding through the Woodland Creation Planning Grant, subject to its initial criteria) and clearance to plant under Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) (England and Wales) (EIA) Regulations 1999 (this may be confirmation that EIA consent is not needed or, should consent be required, consent).
  • • Eligibility is limited to privately owned land, land in the ownership of Local Authorities, and land that is publicly owned but is and will be managed by a private enterprise for the diration of the WCF agreement. WCF will not fund work required under e.g. planning consent. Local Authorities are not eligible for the second stage capital payment. 

FOR FULL DETAILS SEE www.forestry.gov.uk/england-woodlandcreation
or contact your local Forestry Commission area office