The latest Forestry Commission’s e-alert states that they “would encourage everyone considering a grant application to read the statement from the Rt Hon Zac Goldsmith: Reassurance to land managers to plant trees now. He states that no one taking up our current woodland creation offers will be unfairly disadvantaged when we transition to new arrangements under ELM.”
Countryside Stewardship opened for applications for 2021 agreements on 12th February. Applicants to Countryside Stewardship (CS) higher tier can apply for application packs from 11 February. This will result in woodland improvement (WD2 and capital) schemes being implemented from January 2021. Application packs can be obtained until midnight on 31 March, they must be submitted by midnight on 1 May 2020. The RPA have put together all of the key dates for environmental schemes.
Applicants are encouraged to apply for packs online and to complete their applications as early as possible. All CS agreements confirmed by the end of 2020 will be funded for their full lifetime.
The Forestry Commission has agreed that woodlands are excluded from an annual extension to existing CS schemes that are due to end on 31 December 2020. Instead, applicants with agreements ending in December 2020 should submit new CS applications.
Applications for Woodland Management Planning Grant, Woodland Creation Grant and Woodland Tree Health are available all year, but do allow plenty of time (at least 5 months to get your agreement for Woodland Creation). When submitting Woodland Management Plans they need to be submitted by 31 December in the year before an application for Woodland Improvement to ensure that they can be assessed and approved in time.
If you need grant advice or assistance with your application, please contact our Forestry Team on 01536 408840.