DEFRA’s Forestry Innovation Fund is a nationwide £1 million fund to support schemes that will promote the growth of the forest industry in their region. The Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG) is financed by this fund.
Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG)
Applications for the WCPG are now open. Please note WCPG is not part of Countryside Stewardship which provides other funding opportunities for creating and managing woodland.
What is the Forestry Innovation Fund?
WCPG contributes towards the costs of gathering and analysing the information land managers need to consider to ensure their proposals for productive multi-purpose woodland take account of any impacts on: biodiversity, landscape, water, the historic environment and local stakeholders.
WCPG ultimately requires production of a UK Forestry Standard compliant plan for creating the woodland that shows how any constraints and opportunities have been taken in to account.
What is eligible?
Proposals need to meet some basic criteria, being at least 30 hectares in area and showing potential to benefit the forestry sector in the long-term through the provision of timber or other wood products. We will accept applications that span multiple land holdings, though the grant is only available on land in England.
Existing native, semi-natural habitats are likely to have a high value for biodiversity, and for landscape and visual interest. This will need to be compared with the value of new woodland. Moreover there is a specific presumption against the conversion of priority habitats, such as deep peat or active raised bogs. Where the proposed planting is on semi-natural habitat the presumption is that the planting will be restricted to native broadleaved species or it will be retained as open ground adding to the forest mosaic.