Launched alongside the England Trees Action Plan, the Forestry Commission’s England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) opened for applications on 9 June as part of the government’s Nature for Climate Fund. Replacing the Woodland Carbon Fund, EWCO will support the creation of over 10,000 hectares of new woodland, funding predominantly the establishment of large scale native broadleaf woodlands, but also supporting well-designed majority conifer and mixed woodlands.
Covering capital costs at a 100% intervention rate (up to a per hectare cap), EWCO will also provide annual maintenance payments for 10 years, payments towards recreational infrastructure, payments towards forest roads and tracks and stackable additional contributions that recognise the public benefits that well-designed woodland created in the right locations will generate. The grant will also provide additional contributions for woodland creation applications that would improve nature recovery, provide riparian buffers, offer permissive access, improve water quality, reduce flood risks and benefit local settlements.Am I eligible?
The EWCO grant is just one of many new initiatives from the Forestry Commission to support woodland creation, achieve the government’s net zero emissions targets, fight biodiversity loss and build back greener from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the Institute welcomes these initiatives, we would urge the government to reassess all new incentives and schemes to ensure coherence and clarity for applicants which will ultimately result in a stronger uptake.
Neville Elstone MICFor is an ICF Representative on the Forestry Commission’s Applicants Focus Group in England. Speaking on the launch of EWCO, Neville said:
“Forestry grants and regulations continue to lead the way in land use. None of the planned interventions within the whole Environmental Land Management scheme suite of interventions has such a robust management plan against a sector-agreed standard and truly pays for public goods like the stackable options do.”
How to apply
Applications for EWCO can be made all year round and you will need to complete and submit the following:
- a EWCO Application Form Part A
- a EWCO Application Form Part B
- an Application Map showing the location of your proposal and capital items.
- any quotes or supporting documents, if you are applying for contributions towards infrastructure works
- where applicable, a EWCO Common Land and Supplementary Grazing Form
- where applicable, one EWCO Natural Colonisation Initial Site Assessment Form for each application area in which natural colonisation will be the method of establishing trees
You should hear the outcome of your (valid) application after 12 to 20 weeks. For more information on the application process, click here.Find out more