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This month, keep up-to-date with the recent EU funding announcement and what it means for Forestry Commission grants.

EU Funding Announcement

You may already be aware that Treasury made a high-level announcement (Saturday 13 August) about the future of EU funding. For Forestry and Woodland grants, including Countryside Stewardship, this welcome news means that we are now in a position to re-start issuing agreements. Please continue to work with us to take forward any applications currently in progress. This is a high-level announcement providing guarantees on immediate funding issues. The detail is being worked through and we will be in touch again to discuss this over the coming months.

You can find the announcement, including a comment from our Secretary of State and a letter from the Chief Secretary to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on GOV.UK.

It is too early to say what the new domestic policy framework will look like after we leave the EU. Whilst we will be working closely with the sector to consider options for this in the longer term, the Government recognises the need to help the sector transition effectively to this new framework.

We wanted to provide you with some of the initial implications of this announcement for Forestry and Woodland owners.

What does this mean for woodland owners, applicants and agents?

Issuing agreements

Forestry Commission and Natural England can now restart informing applicants of the outcome of their application.

For the grants that the Forestry Commission directly administer through our hubs this means:

  • All new Woodland Management Planning agreements;
  • Tree Health agreements;
  • CS 2015 Woodland Creation capital agreements;
  • Any agreements affected by successions and amendments.

All Forestry Commission legacy agreements (WGS, EWGS, FWP, FWPS etc.) will continue to be honoured.

For Natural England Technical Services (NE TS) this means they can now start to issue:

  • Woodland Creation capital agreements from this year’s application round (2016).

Countryside Stewardship (CS) 2016 Higher Tier Applications

Any CS Higher Tier (Woodland Improvement and Woodland Creation maintenance) agreements agreed (signed or in place) before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded – even when these projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU. More information on this will be available before the Autumn Statement.

FC Woodland Officers will continue to progress these applications to submission to NE TS in line with published deadlines (26 August for Mixed applications and 30 September for Woodland Only applications).

Where do I get further information

Please speak with your local Woodland Officer, FC Admin Hub or with Natural England Technical Services, if you need more information about your applications or agreements.

As more details emerge we will keep you updated via this email alert, so please forward this on to anyone that you think may benefit so that they can subscribe to receive updates.

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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