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£13m fund seeks to increase England’s woodland cover

September 12, 2017 by  
Filed under News & Business

tree planting

A £13m fund to help landowners plant more trees to protect wildlife, boost the timber sector and reduce flood risk will soon open for applications, forestry minister Thérèse Coffey has announced.

Farmers, foresters and land managers across the UK will be able to apply for up to £6,800 per hectare to plant, weed and protect more trees when application forms for the next round of the government’s Woodland Creation grant are made available later this month.

The fund – part of the Countryside Stewardship scheme – will help plant more than 3m trees, creating 1,900 hectares of new woodland. Ms Coffey said it would contribute to the government’s ambition to plant 11m trees, with a further 1m planted in towns and cities.

Discussion

Confirmation of the next round of funding came as Ms Coffey met with some of the UK’s leading forestry companies for a discussion about the challenges and opportunities for the sector as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.

Announcing the next round of funding, Ms Coffey highlighted the importance of woodlands for the economy and biodiversity. She said: “Our forests and woodlands are vital for providing timber, improving the environment and protecting our wildlife.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the government’s ongoing commitment to the forestry sector and to biodiversity, which afforestation delivers. I hope to see as many applications as possible so this important industry can continue to thrive.”

Download

Guidance and application forms would be available for download in September, with the application window opening in January 2018, said Ms Coffey. Under the grant annual maintenance payments would be available for 10 years.

For any payments agreed before the UK leaves the EU, the government has committed the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of the parliament, widely interpreted as being until the next scheduled general election in 2022.

A range of grants is available to support the creation of new woodland and sustainable woodland management, with Forestry Commission online advice available on the application process. For more details, visit www.forestry.gov.uk.

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