Trees, woodlands and forestry - Woodland Creation Planning Grant
The Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG) offers funding of up to £30,000 for the production of a UKFS-compliant Woodland Creation Design Plan. The scheme was re-launched in autumn 2020 to enable more people to apply and help proposals move more quickly through the Environmental Impact Assessment process and future planting and establishment grant funding.
- Opening date:
- Closing date:
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You can apply for £1,000 to complete stage 1 of the Woodland Creation Design Plan Template. This is a desk-based exercise to identify the constraints and opportunities that may affect the proposed planting.
If there’s potential for woodland creation to take place on the site, then you will be offered a stage 2 payment.
At stage 2, you can get £150 per hectare, minus the £1,000 offered at stage 1, to complete stage 2 of the Woodland Creation Design Plan Template. You may get supplementary payments for specialist survey work if a need for them is identified at stage 1. If your application is under ten hectares in size, we will make a minimum payment of £500 for stage 2. The total amount of funding is capped at £30,000 per project. The funding will support you to gather and analyse the information that you need to make sure your proposal takes into account:
local stakeholders (to support your engagement with stakeholders, please share this letter to request stakeholder input with them when you contact them for information to explain how their response will be used)
You’ll have to develop a UK Forestry Standard-compliant plan for woodland creation that shows any constraints and opportunities, and how these are accounted for.If your land is already under an existing grant agreement, then your woodland creation design plan must cover the impact of tree planting on that agreement.
Landowners, land managers and public bodies (other than Forestry England) can apply to the Forestry Commission to support the design of new woodland under the Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG), provided the work is not already required under existing obligations. Crown Bodies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) are not eligible for funding through WCPG.
You must plan to create woodland that is:
located in England
a minimum of five hectares or more in total size. If the proposed woodland is split into different blocks, each block must meet the definition of woodland set out by the National Forest Inventory: a minimum area of 0.5 hectares and a minimum width of 20 meters.
If you intend to seek grant aid to plant the woodland, you should consider the minimum areas required to apply for grants for woodland creation when planning your proposal.
Landscape-scale applications that span multiple land holdings may be accepted. You do not need to own or control the land, but you will need a letter confirming that the landowner(s) support the application. If your proposed site spans a border, we will only make a stage 2 payment of £150 per hectare on the land that is in England.
You may include more than 20% of designed open space in your plan if the constraints of your site make this necessary, but the total stage 2 payment will be limited to the net planting area plus 20% (of the gross area). This means that any designed open space in your plan over and above 20% of the total project area will not receive funding.
If you’ve already applied for Countryside Stewardship, the Woodland Carbon Fund, the HS2 Woodland Fund, or submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) enquiry form to plant a new woodland, you are not eligible to apply for Woodland Creation Planning Grant on that site.
If you are already in receipt of a WCPG stage 1 agreement offer, you may request the addition of new blocks of proposed woodland over 0.5 hectares. If we agree to these additions, the future stage 2 offer will include these areas from 26 October 2020. To bring new blocks into their agreement, stage 1 agreement holders will need to submit a revised stage 1 Woodland Creation Design Plan Template which covers the expanded project area. No additional stage 1 payment will be made. We will not retrospectively add new areas for existing agreement holders with an existing stage 2 offer. If you are an agreement holder at stage 2 and would like to extend the project area in line with the new rules, you will need to submit a new application to us.
Stage 1 requires you to complete a desk-based exercise, identifying constraints and opportunities for your site. You will compile your data in stage 1 of the Woodland Creation Design Plan Template and give supporting documents, including at least a site context map.
If stage 1 of the Woodland Creation Design Plan Template indicates that there’s potential for woodland at the site then you will get an offer of stage 2 funding, including any supplementary payments where relevant.
You get a stage 2 payment for producing a Woodland Creation Design Plan by completing stage 2 of the template. You will find a list of required maps and plans in the Woodland Creation Design Plan Template. This includes:
a site context map
a site appraisal plan
a design concept plan and final design plan
The Forestry Commission makes the stage 2 payment on approval of your completed Woodland Creation Design Plan Template and the documentation that supports it.
The Woodland Creation Design Plan Template and supporting documents required at stage 1 and stage 2 will demonstrate a design process, from a survey of the site’s key features to analysis of how they will affect the proposed woodland’s design to synthesis, bringing this information together into an informed design for the woodland.
Applications can be made at any time and there is currently no closing date.
The Forestry Commission will provide a written decision within 15 working days of receipt of your application, to confirm if your application will receive WCPG funding.
How to apply
You can apply year-round. The Forestry Commission aims to respond to your application within 15 working days. It may take longer if the application includes untrialled tree species or is in a sensitive location.
You must have a signed agreement in place before you start work. Please read the WCPG terms and conditions.
You’ll need the landowner’s consent and signature if you don’t own the land, and the Forestry Commission may ask to see your tenancy agreement to confirm your land management responsibilities.
In part 2 of the application form, you’ll need to outline your planting proposals, and the Forestry Commission may contact you to finalise some details.
Read our Woodland Creation Planning Grant leaflet for a helpful overview of the scheme.