Over the last few years, I have had a number of clients who wanted to plant small areas of new woodland, only to be put off by the minimum area thresholds under the existing woodland grant schemes. However, the Forestry Commission’s new England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) has a minimum application area of only 1 ha (which can be made up from several blocks of at least 0.1 ha) and should appeal to those landowners who are interested in planting new woodland, but do not have large areas of land to dedicate to it.
The EWCO offers capital payments to cover the costs of establishment followed by 10 years of annual maintenance payments, as well as contributions towards any necessary new infrastructure. There are also additional payments where the woodland will deliver public benefits.
The application window is now open and the scheme is competitive, based on a first come first served basis, so any interested landowners should act promptly.
Harry Broadbent-Combe MRICS FAAV, Associate based in our Pulborough branch. Contact Harry by calling 01798 877555.