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On 7th August 2014 the Forestry Commission (FC) released their latest National Email Alert with an update on the English Woodland Grant Scheme during this ‘transitional’ period. The key messages can be summarised as follows:

  • The English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) closes for new applications on 30th September 2014 (Woodfuel WIG);
  • The Woodland Planning Grant and Plant Health support will remain open to new applications after the above deadline but contracts for either fund must be approved by the end of December 2014;
  • In Early 2015: An interim grant offer will be made available for priority grant types including Woodland Creation – the FC will release further information on this later in the year;
  • The FC Management Plan template released in January 2014 must now be used in place of previous versions of the template.

From 1st January 2016 woodland grant payments will be made from the new rural development programme budget and from this date these payments will need to be for standard cost items that meet the rules of the new programme. The FC are aware of EWGS agreements which have been approved contain standard cost items that do not meet the new rules. The table below defines the standard cost items to which this applies:-

Standard Cost Code

Activity

Units

A18

Safety inspection Hourly rate

L1

Forest craftsperson Per day

L2

Forestry agent Per hour

L3

Tree surgery, 2 + chipper Per day

L4

Tractor & chipper/flail with 1 man Per day

L5

JCB hire & mini excavator Hour

L6

360 excavator hour

We are working with the FC in checking all of our clients approved EWGS agreements to establish affected scheme holders and we will be in contact soon to discuss the options available ahead of the of 30th September 2015 claim deadline attributed to the non-fundable items only.

Please do not hesitate to contact any of our Forestry Practitioners on 01536 408840 to discuss a new application ahead of the closing deadlines for grant schemes that are currently open or for an explanation as to what the new scheme rules mean for your existing approved EWGS agreements.

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