The new Tree Health Pilot is designed to support action against pests and diseases affecting ash, sweet chestnut, larch and spruce trees.
The three-year pilot will be delivered by the Forestry Commission and will cover parts of the North West, West Midlands, London and the South East of England. The pilot aims to establish 100 agreements with interested land owners and managers to help deal with trees affected by a pest or disease outbreak.
The Forestry Commission will support the felling and restocking of trees as well as providing maintenance payments for restock sites. Learnings from the pilot will inform the future Tree Health scheme, being rolled out in 2024.
The pilot will work alongside the existing Countryside Stewardship Woodland Tree Health grants, which will continue to be on offer until 2024 when the new Tree Health scheme will be adopted.
This new pilot scheme should provide a wider range of support in helping farmers and landowners tackle the ever-increasing threat of pests and diseases within trees
CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:
“The support currently available, through schemes like the Countryside Stewardship, is only good for woodland situations, not hedgerows or roadside trees affected by ash dieback which can cost significant amounts of money to put right. Whereas this new pilot scheme should provide a wider range of support in helping farmers and landowners tackle the ever-increasing threat of pests and diseases within trees.”
“The CLA has been involved in shaping the Tree Health Pilot which will pave the way for a new tree health support scheme across England from 2024. Although the pilot will only operate in some parts of the country for now, we’d urge all landowners with trees to look out for the sorts of support available through the pilot which may become available to all within three years.”
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