In September the Forestry Commission announced the year round opening of the Countryside Stewardship woodland creation grant in our rolling application window.
What does this mean?
You can now apply for Countryside Stewardship (CS) woodland creation capital grant year round in their new rolling window which opened on Monday 10th September 2018. The Forestry Commission have been listening to customers’ requests and are pleased to announce these changes which will remove the restriction on when you can apply for your woodland creation capital grant. They are keen to make improvements to the scheme where they can and hope that the removal of the 6 week application window and the flexibility it provides will help land managers when making their applications.
What has changed?
Actually not much. You can now apply for your CS woodland creation grant year round, there is no longer an application window, so you can apply when it suits you best.
The woodland creation manual has been updated. The main change that they have made, is to scoring. Initial applications will still need to score 12 points to be accepted, but rather than setting a score final applications must meet to be offered an agreement in a single round each year, they will do each month. This approach allows them to open the grant to applications at any time of year and continually process applications.
To maximise the period of the planting seasons and provide time to order planting stock within your agreement period, you can now ask to defer the start date of your woodland creation grant agreement by up to 6 months after the final application is submitted.
The funding hasn’t changed
You can still apply for up to £6,800 per hectare for woodland creation and, once tree planting is completed, eligible applicants will be invited to apply for the 10 year maintenance payments. The Government has confirmed that it will guarantee funding for Countryside Stewardship grants agreed and signed before the UK’s departure from the EU, even if the grant agreements continue after we have left the EU where they are good value for money and are in line with domestic strategic priorities.
For further information please visit the Forestry Commission or Gov.UK website,or alternatively contact on of our Forestry Team on 01536 408840.