Woodland Creation Planning Grant
The Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG) provides funding to landowners, land managers and public bodies (excluding Forestry England) to help cover the costs of producing a UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) compliant woodland creation plan, which can support applications to other funding sources for woodland creation, such as the England Woodland Creation Offer. The WCPG contributes towards the costs of gathering and analysing the information land managers need to consider in order to ensure their proposals for new woodland take account of any impacts on biodiversity, landscape, water, soil, climate change, the historic environment, and local stakeholders.
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Landowners, land managers and public bodies (other than Forestry England) can apply to the Forestry Commission to support the design of new woodland under the Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG).
You can apply for £1,000 to complete stage 1 of the Woodland Creation Design Plan Template (MS Word Document, 242 KB). This is a desk-based exercise to identify the constraints and opportunities that may affect the proposed planting. If there’s potential for woodland creation to take place on the site, then you will be offered a stage 2 payment. At stage 2, you can get £150 per hectare, minus the £1,000 offered at stage 1, to complete stage 2 of the Woodland Creation Design Plan Template. You may get supplementary payments for specialist survey work if a need for them is identified at stage 1.
If your application is under ten hectares in size, we will make a minimum payment of £500 for stage 2.
The total amount of funding is capped at £30,000 per project.
On 2 November 2020, the minimum application size and block size was reduced and we have removed the requirement that 70% of the species proposed for planting will achieve minimum growth rates.
You must plan to create woodland that is:
located in England
a minimum of five hectares or more in total size. If the proposed woodland is split into different blocks, each block must meet the definition of woodland set out by the National Forest Inventory: a minimum area of 0.5 hectares and a minimum width of 20 meters.
If you intend to seek grant aid to plant the woodland, you should consider the minimum areas required to apply for grants for woodland creation when planning your proposal.
Landscape-scale applications that span multiple land holdings may be accepted. You do not need to own or control the land, but you will need a letter confirming that the landowner(s) support the application. If your proposed site spans a border, we will only make a stage 2 payment of £150 per hectare on the land that is in England.
You may include more than 20% of designed open space in your plan if the constraints of your site make this necessary, but the total stage 2 payment will be limited to the net planting area plus 20% (of the gross area). This means that any designed open space in your plan over and above 20% of the total project area will not receive funding.
If you’ve already applied for Countryside Stewardship, the Woodland Carbon Fund, the HS2 Woodland Fund, or submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) enquiry form to plant a new woodland, you are not eligible to apply for Woodland Creation.
The Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG) provides funding to landowners, land managers and public bodies (excluding Forestry England) to help cover the costs of producing a UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) compliant woodland creation plan, which can support applications to other funding sources for woodland creation.
This grant is open. You can apply year-round.
How to apply
You can apply year-round. The Forestry Commission aims to respond to your application within 15 working days. It may take longer if the application includes untrialled tree species or is in a sensitive location. You must have a signed agreement in place before you start work. Please read the WCPG terms and conditions.
You’ll need the landowner’s consent and signature if you don’t own the land, and the Forestry Commission may ask to see your tenancy agreement to confirm your land management responsibilities.
In part 2 of the application form (below), you’ll need to outline your planting proposals, and the Forestry Commission may contact you to finalise some details.
Submit an application form
Complete the application form and return it by email to: WCPG@forestrycommission.gov.uk.
If you can’t apply by email send paper copies to:
Woodland Creation Planning Grant
National Office, England
620 Bristol Business Park
Bristol, BS16 1EJ
Give consent if you appoint an agent
If you decide to appoint an agent to apply for funding on your behalf then you must complete a Forestry Commission agent authority form to give your consent.
Once you have a completed and approved woodland creation design plan, you can use this to apply for: