The biggest benefit by far from planting more trees is to improve the wellbeing of our environment and support green recovery, so much so that the Government set out last year The England Trees Action Plan 2021 – 2024; a long-term plan that’s focused on increase tree planting rates across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by the end of this Parliament.
To achieve such ambitions, they intend to spend £500m of the £640m Nature for Climate Fund, including improved funding for different types of treescapes (trees, woodlands and forests), landowners and managers.
And, it’s all about planting the right trees in the right places for the right reasons; so, depending on what land you have available and what planting project you’re considering, there’s a choice of funding routes you may be eligible;
- The primary fund available to landowners, farmers and public bodies is the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO). This tree planting grant scheme backs the creation of new woodland, including natural colonisation, and applies to areas as small as one hectare. Capped at £8,500 per hectare for standard costs, it also includes annual maintenance payments of £200 per hectare per year, for 10 years.
- If looking for funding to support with the removal of diseased trees and / or restocking woodland after felling due to a tree health issue; such as Ash dieback (a highly infectious fungal disease which is threatening to wipe out over 90% of our native ash trees and most other non-native members of the ash family), then The Woodland Tree Health Grant, part of Countryside Stewardship, may be an applicable to your needs or circumstances.
- For farmers, foresters and other land managers with areas less than one hectare or a small planting project, such as a mixed native hedge border or copse, then there are a number of funding options available. One is The Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) – a farm-wide payment scheme across England, which is targeted at enhancing our natural world, protecting the countryside and looks to support the planting of trees, hedge laying and creating or restoring habitats for wildlife, as both an environmental benefit and shelter for crops and livestock.
- For smaller grants schemes, specific to regreening the West Country and Devon area, there are currently over 20 different sources of funding for tree planting available via a number of recognised organisations including the Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, The Tree Council and regional County Councils. These funding options are open to a wide audience scope and encourage all kinds of treescape planting; from a single tree or a small copse to a diverse wildlife hedgerow or mixed native hedge border.
Long-term income support for creating new woodlands…
If you’re looking to apply for EWCO, you should also consider if you’d qualify for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee. Designed to further incentivise woodland creation in England, as well as the removal of CO2 from our atmosphere, this multimillion pound scheme allows individuals and land managers of all kinds to benefit from a guaranteed income upon delivery of verified Woodland Carbon Units every 5 or 10 years up to 2055/56; The Forestry Commission currently quote “a new native woodland can capture 300-400 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per hectare by year 50 and by year 100, it can capture 400-600 CO2 equivalent per hectare; with companies having paid between £10 and £20 per tonne of CO2.“
Further Expert Help + Advice
Locally in the Somerset area we look to a number of associates to help guide us with both current grant and funding legislations, carbon selling and biodiversity net gain, these contacts include…
Natural Resource Consultants
Natural Resource Consultants is a dynamic and progressive natural resource management consultancy based in south-west England.
With over 30 years’ experience and adopting current best practice, we offer a comprehensive and professional one-stop-shop for all matters relating to the sustainable management of trees, forests and natural ecosystems.
Townsend Chartered Surveyors
Townsend Chartered Surveyors, founded in 1992, is an independent firm of land agents based in Exeter, Devon, offering traditional estate management and rural consultancy services to farmers and landowners across the UK.
As market leaders in BPS Entitlements, and SPS and Milk Quota before this, we are well equipped to advise on and trade in the new environmental commodities which can come from planting trees, such as Carbon Units, Biodiversity Net Gain and Phosphate and Nitrate Offsets. We also offer a land acquisition service specialising in environmental projects such as woodland creation.
Outside of the above references, we would advise you contacting the Institute of Chartered Foresters to help find a qualified agent in your area, who can help to advise or manage any grant scheme or Woodland Carbon Code application that you may be considering; from discussing investment opportunities, design and planning, through to project implementation and ongoing maintenance of the site.