The government has opened the application window for a new multimillion pound suite of Forestry Commission administrated grants that aim to accelerate tree planting in England over the next few years.
The new England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) will support the planting of trees on areas as small as one hectare.
From 9 June, landowners, land managers and public bodies can apply to the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) to receive financial support to create new woodlands on areas of land as small as one hectare. This new grant scheme replaces the Woodland Carbon Fund, which closed earlier this year. Grants of over £15 million in year one will be administered from the Nature for Climate Fund.
The grants, which were announced in the England Trees Action Plan, offer increased financial rewards, recognising the individual ecosystem services that trees deliver. They will cover 100% of standard costs for eligible capital items and maintenance payments of 10 years.
Good news for small-scale tree planters
The NFU welcomes the new grants, which are more supportive of smaller scale tree planting that is common in farm businesses than Countryside Stewardship schemes have been. The EWCO offers improved payment rates that recognise the multitude of benefits trees deliver.
By 16 June, the RPA will contact, via email or letter, people with existing relevant Countryside Stewardship agreements who may be eligible to transition their agreement to EWCO and benefit from the improved payment rates. Find further information on this here.