Defra opens competition to identify new Forest for the Nation

08 February 2024

Environment and climate
Forest

Photograph: WTPL/Judith Parry

Applications are now open for Defra’s million-pound grant funding competition to identify a new Forest for the Nation.

Following the government’s COP28 nature announcement, Defra has launched a grant funding competition to establish a new Forest for the Nation in England.

Building upon the achievements of the National Forest in central England, the Forest for the Nation competition aims to help contribute towards government tree planting and net-zero targets, enhance public access to the countryside, and empower communities to take ownership of their local woodlands.

There will be one overall winner who will get up to £10 million to fund their project.

How to apply

The competition is open to anyone, with applicants encouraged to work together to develop bids. A local authority sponsor is also required.

Proposals can include:

  • woodland creation
  • expansion and connection of existing woodlands
  • improved woodland management for enhanced resilience and health.

The National Forest Company will help applicants to develop strong proposals and, if successful, create the new Forest for the Nation.

Stage 1

To apply you must submit an outline proposal with your vision for the Forest for the Nation on Defra’s commercial system, Atamis.

If you're not registered on Atamis, Defra has published guidance on how to make an account.

  • Submit an outline proposal with your vision for the Forest for the Nation.
  • Proposals should address success criteria (details to be provided at the competition’s opening).
  • Successful applicants may receive 16 weeks worth of grant funding for further proposal development for stage two.

Stage 2

Fully costed plans and a local authority sponsor are required for stage two proposals.

Proposals will be assessed against agreed outcome criteria, with the winning bid to be announced in autumn 2024.

More information on how to apply can be found at: GOV.UK | Forest for the Nation competition.

NFU members, join our Environment and climate community to comment


Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query someone from NFU CallFirst will contact you. If needed, your query will then be passed to the appropriate NFU policy team.

You have 0 characters remaining.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.