AF gets to the root
of tree planting

Is it time to spruce up your farm? Planting trees to square off field corners, strengthen hedges or larger more ambitious planting schemes can also help with hitting your environmental targets. There is some generous DEFRA grant funding available, or subsidies from the Woodland Trust. If this has you stumped fear not, AF has taken a look at some of the options available to you, and now is the time to start planning in time for the 2023/24 planting season.


Trees are proving ‘poplar’

We have delved into the ELM 2023 update again! It confirms that DEFRA will continue to support tree planting, as trees and woodland “provide huge benefits for people, nature, climate and the economy.”


What funding is available now?

If you are looking to branch out into tree planting there is support from the planning stages right through to planting, and even carbon measurement:

Woodland Creation Planning Grant

Landowners 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’. If there’s potential for woodland creation to take place, then you will be offered a stage 2 payment of £150 per hectare, minus the £1,000 offered at stage 1.

The total amount of funding is capped at £30,000 per project. 

England Woodland Creation Offer

Landowners can apply to the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) for support to create new woodland. This includes natural colonisation, and on areas as small as one hectare which does not need to be in a single block.

You could receive up to £10,200 per hectare, plus up to a further £8,000 in additional contributions for public benefits, such recreational access, if the planting is close to a settlement, provides some flood protection or riparian barrier.

The Woodland Carbon code scheme for buyers and landowners

The Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) is the UK’s voluntary carbon standard for woodland creation projects. It provides reassurance about the carbon savings that woodland projects may realistically achieve. It is a high quality, robust voluntary carbon standard, which uses a scientific model to predict and monitor carbon sequestration

This means that carbon buyers have reassurance that they have invested in a responsible scheme and can see the benefits that will be provided.


Under Countryside Stewardship you can also still get grants for maintaining and planting boundaries including hedges and trees.

For more details of all of these log on to the Forest & Woodland section of the website.


Barking up the right tree

Another excellent source of advice and subsidised trees, guards and planting is the Woodland Trust. They are the UKs largest woodland conservation charity, and where 500+ trees are planted on at least half a hectare they will visit your site, help you design your woodland, create a bespoke species mix, supply the agreed trees and tree protection, and cover up to 75% of costs. If required they can also arrange contractors to carry out the planting.


Additional advice and resources

For those of you looking at going out on a limb and committing to larger scale planting, there is the Confor Woodland Show on 21st & 22nd September 2023 at the Bath and West Showground. The show is aimed at anyone with an interest in forestry, either those who are established or new entrants.


How can AF help

As always your AF General Inputs team would be delighted to help Members source whatever you need for tree and hedge planting, including rootstock, guards, posts, tools and equipment. So before you pack your trunks for a post-harvest holiday give AF a call, don’t pine after a missed opportunity – we can deliver everything you need this autumn. Email us or call 01603 881 914.

Save money. Save time.