If you are planning extensive work in your woodland, you may consider applying for grant aid to assist with the cost of the work. The main source of grants is the Forestry Commission. Grants are designed to cover between 25% and 75% of the cost of having work done, at commercial rates. Even if you are doing the work yourself, the grant can be claimed. In order to apply for grant assistance, you will need to have a formal management plan. This will normally be prepared by an experienced planner, and there is grant assistance available for the production of the plan.
The grant schemes managed by the Forestry Commission are devolved to the three British governments, so there are different schemes, and different levels of grant are available in England, Scotland and Wales.
Legacy Scheme: Woodland Grant Scheme (WGS)
This scheme is no longer open to new applicants. If you own, or buy, a woodland that is covered by an existing contract, then payments are still available under this scheme for management of the wood.
Current Scheme: The English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS):
EWGS consists of 6 main grants:
Woodland Planning Grant (WPG): to produce a woodland management plan.
Woodland Assessment Grant (WAG): to collect information that assists management decision.
Woodland Improvement Grant (WIG): to carry out capital projects in woodlands such as access tracks, uneconomic thinning, coppicing, rhododendron clearance and public access facilities.
Woodland Regeneration Grant (WRG): to re-establish trees after felling.
Woodland Management Grant (WMG): to carry out regular work such as ride management and pest control.
Woodland Creation Grant (WCG): to create new woodland.
For more information on the English Woodland Grant Scheme see http://www.forestry.gov.uk/ewgs
Legacy Scheme: Better Woodlands for Wales (BWW):
This scheme launched in 2006, but is no longer open to new applicants. If you own, or buy, a woodland that is covered by an existing plan, then payments are still available under this scheme for management of the wood until 2016.
Current Scheme: Glastir:
This agricultural scheme is the current method for delivering woodland grants for Wales. Two types of grant are available: the Woodland Creation Grant, for planting trees on land that is not currently woodland, and Glastir Woodland Management for thinning, restocking, infrastructure, pest control, and so forth
For more information on the Welsh grant schemes, see http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/farmingandcountryside/farming/schemes/glastir/?lang=en
Legacy Schemes: Woodland Grant Scheme (WGS) and Scottish Forestry Grant Scheme/Farm Premium (SFGS/FP):
These schemes are no longer open to new applicants. If you own, or buy, a woodland that is covered by an existing contract, then payments may still be available for management of the wood.
Current Scheme: Rural Development Contracts – Rural Priorities:
There are three types of grant available: Woodland Creation, Sustainable Management of Forests, and Woodland Improvement.
For more information on the Scottish grant schemes, see http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-5zad6a
Other sources of Funding
Funding may also be available from other sources. The Royal Forestry Society has produced a guide to many of them: http://www.rfs.org.uk/about/grants-for-trees