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Reaction: Landmark £15 million woodland creation grant opens for applications - CLA

Forestry Commission launches a grant scheme aimed at incentivising woodland creation

The Forestry Commission has today opened a new multimillion tree planting grant scheme – the England Woodland Creation Offer - to provide greater financial incentives for landowners and farmers to plant and manage trees.

With £15.9 million available in its first year, the grant scheme, now open to applications, will provide enhanced payments rates. It will give greater recognition of the public and environmental benefits that woodlands bring, by providing additional incentives to ensure the right tree is planted in the right place, and for the right reason.

"We welcome this new scheme which offers much-needed impetus to tree planting in England. Payments for woodland creation under the EWCO are significantly better than previous schemes and the minimum application area has been reduced to 1 ha, which should increase interest in tree planting. Higher standard payments, with optional supplements for biodiversity, flood mitigation or access provision, makes woodland creation under the EWCO a more attractive option than before. It is well worth landowners looking into whether this new scheme can work for them," - CLA President Mark Bridgeman said.

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