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This month, find out about what funding opportunities are available this year for woodland via Countryside Stewardship and read more about annual claims in 2016. Finally, there's just three weeks left to apply for our Woodland Creation Planning Grant via the Forestry Innovation Fund.

Countryside Stewardship

Woodland creation 2016

Funding for woodland creation is available via Countryside Stewardship for farmers and other land managers to plant, weed and protect young trees. As well as enhancing the landscape, creating new woodland can support wildlife, reduce flood risk and improve water quality. It can also improve the environment’s resilience to climate change.

We look forward to working with you to help you create quality applications – and woodland – in 2016. If you want to apply for a capital grant of up to £6,800 per hectare (ha) to create woodland you will need to submit an initial application to Natural England before 31 March 2016. The application window will open on 16 February 2016 and further details about how to apply will be made available on GOV.UK in due course.

You will also be able to find out more by joining one of webinars for applicants. To take part, please register online now:

We encourage potential applicants to speak to their local Woodland Officer and start planning now on the basis that this grant will be similar to that offered last year.
 

Other Countryside Stewardship funding for woodlands

Funding for woodland improvement will be available via the Higher Tier later in 2016. Farmers and woodland managers who think they might want to apply for woodland improvement should prepare now by making sure they have a Forestry Commission approved UK Forestry Standard compliant management plan in place.

Grants for management planning and tree health support are open for application year-round.

View Countryside Stewardship funding opportunities for woodlands.

Forestry Innovation Fund

Woodland Creation Planning Grant

Farmers and woodland managers that know they want to create new productive woodland of 30ha or more may wish to consider applying for a Woodland Creation Planning Grant now. There are just three weeks left to apply; applications close on 15 February 2016.

Further information, including details on eligibility and how to apply, can be found on Forestry Commission England’s website.
 

Claims, inspections & payments

Outstanding capital grant claims

We recently wrote to all the main agreement holders for English Woodland Grant Scheme cases where a 2015 / 16 capital grant claim is still outstanding. Those grants included are:

  • First instalment of Woodland Creation Grant;
  • Woodland Regeneration Grant; and
  • Woodland Improvement Grant.

In the letter, applicants were reminded that such claims must be with us by 31 March 2016 at the latest. Due to financial rules, claims received after 31 March 2016 will not be funded unless there are exceptional circumstances for the delay, and applicants have made us aware of these prior to the 31 March 2016 deadline.

If you do not have an outstanding claim, you do not need to do anything.

Annual claims 2016

To date, the Forestry Commission have paid 50% of 2015 / 16 annual claims by value and want to pay the majority by the end of February 2016.

There are still a number of customers yet to return their second (pink) claim form which needs to be signed and returned before payment can be made.

We are now planning for 2016 / 17 annual claims. Customers will be sent one claim form this year in the spring. We will process these throughout the summer and autumn so that we can start making payments in December 2016.

New customer satisfaction survey

To help us better manage and improve our business, we will shortly begin to survey those customers who have recently applied for a grant or regulatory service. The survey is anonymous and should take about 10 minutes to complete. 

If you receive an email in the next month asking you to complete an online customer satisfaction survey for the Forestry Commission, please do share your feedback with us. We’d value your comments.

If you have any questions, please contact us:

Email: GRNationalTeam@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Website: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/england-grants

Forestry Commission 620 Bristol Business Coldharbour Lane Bristol, BS16 1EJ United Kingdom

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