The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second-best time is now- or is it?

Published: 29/11/2022 By Will Cairns

Will Cairns, Graduate Surveyor with Symonds & Sampson outlines the key points of the three main schemes available to landowners for woodland creation.

The range of grants available fall into three categories:

Woodland Creation Planning Grant
  • For applicants situated in complex landscapes
  • Minimum application size 5 hectares (12.36 acres)
  • Stage 1: £1000 grant for desk-based research
  • Stage 2: £150/ha for creation & design of application
  • No expiry date for applications
England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO)
  • Up to £8500/ha in capital items for tree planting activities
  • Minimum application size: 1 hectare (2.42 acres)
  • Agreement term: 10 years
  • Payment: £300/ha/year
  • Area must be free from existing environmental schemes or grants
Woodland Carbon Code (WCC)
  • Other woodland creation grants can be combined with WCC
  • Once registered, applicants can then register for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee (WCaG)
  • If the applicant is successful, they will be offered a WCaG Contract.
  • If they receive a contract, they can plant their woodland and have it validated under the WCC
  • The woodland will be verified every 5/10 years to confirm the number of Woodland Carbon Units (WCU’s) the woodland is holding.
  • After verification, applicants can choose to sell the WCU’s either to the government (within 35 years) or to the open market (at any time).
  • To be financially worthwhile, the minimum area is 20 hectares (49.42 acres)
In theory, landowners can enter all three schemes, providing the area in question is eligible.

If you are considering planting woodland, please contact Will on 01258 472244, or a member of Symonds & Sampson’s Rural Grants team in your nearest office.