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Woodland’s Good News
2012-07-09

Good News has been announced for any landowner who would like to create their own woodland. The Government is proposing an increase from £1800 to £2800 per hectare in the Woodland Creation Grant. With contributions from regional priorities factored in, this could increase to £4800 per hectare. In a week when the privatisation of publically owned woodland has been axed by a government in retreat before an angry public, this means that trees have once more taken root in the public imagination.

The new premium on planting means that, heeling in a few saplings is a profitable activity in its own right, as the Woodland Creation Grant will more than cover the likely costs involved.

Richard Hunter
Richard Hunter

Richard Hunter Arboriculturalist and Forestry specialist  with H&H Land and Property says: “The increased grants are an incentive to get people to plant new woodlands. The number of regional priorities has increased dramatically which will allow the owners of existing woodland or those who have thought about woodland creation in the past but would have missed out under the old system should be able to benefit now.”

Depending on where your potential woodland is sited, Regional Priorities which attract additional funding includes:

  • creating new woodlands which offer permissive access to the public

  • creating new woodlands for water, if you are in a designated areas

  • creating new woodlands in Nature Improvement Areas, which in Cumbria is around Morecambe Bay estuary

  • creating new woodlands for biodiversity  - which means creating, connecting or expanding native woodlands to 5 hectares or larger)

  • creating new woodlands designed for timber production

  • creating new woodlands near people, around major towns and cities such as Whitehaven, Workington, Carlisle and Kendal

“Such a comprehensive list means, at the very least that a woodland scheme is worth investigating wherever the land is suitable, and less profitable for other uses. Now may therefore be a good time to grow trees, and to plant some green heritage that will leave your personal mark on the countryside of the future.” Says Richard.

Not such good news to farmers, though, is the likely closure to new applicants in April 2014 for the annual supplement grant of the Farm Woodlands Payments.   As the scheme will be no casual walk in the woods itself. In the future, the Woodland Management Grant, the Woodland Improvement Grant and the Woodland Regeneration Grant will all need a full Woodland Management Plan in place before submitting an application. However, as the Woodland Planning Grant still provides funding to cover the cost of a Woodland Management Plan, all is not lost in the trees!

To explore the likely implications for your land of the new woodland grants, you should contact a specialist advisor, which in the case of H&H Land & Property, would be Richard Hunter - Tel: 01228 406260, Email: Richard.Hunter@hhland.co.uk

link Can Sustainable Intensification Feed the World?
link New Natural England Team Strengthens Focus on Farming Sector
link Natural England Reviews Evidence of Uplands Study

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