News

Grant News - Update

1 November 2010

Following on from the initial announcements of the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Forestry Commission has had it confirmed by our minister that the level of grants administered by the Forestry Commission under Axis 2 of the Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE)has not been altered for the remainder of the spending round which concludes in March 2014. Therefore the news is that:

1. The Forestry Commission will continue to deliver the current planned levels of woodland grants under RDPE up to the end of the 2013-2014 financial year
2. We are still accepting woodland creation applications for 2011/12, and farmers will be eligible to continue to have SPS eligibility on that land
3. We are open for other grants with 2011/12 payment year and for grants up to March 2014
4. We have a mechanism available that allows woodland owners to meet CPET Category B criteria for sustainably produced timber which includes a 10 year felling licence approval
5. We are planning to launch a Woodfuel WIG to support further roading access and specific management in under-managed woods in early 2011, owners may wish to start drawing potential projects to FC attention.

As it stands in South East England we have plenty of grants available up to 2014 in all our 6 grant types. Our 80% WIG target areas have been increased to cover all the main AONBs and the two National Parks within the south east. We are offering enhanced rates of planting grant where the new woodland provides informal public access within a Quality of Place target area and on the Isle of Wight.

Regarding bullet point 5
Grants will soon be announced which will offer owners new grants towards management in all woodland types that exhibit a lack of the appropriate levels of management and where there is clear potential to provide sustainable renewable energy for the future. This is likely to include grant towards track improvement, timber stacking, tree marking, tendering and other activity needed to present parcels of timber to the market place.

Early grant payments
It is anticipated that there is likely to be an under spend of grant this year as we are seeing owners backing out of planting schemes due to high cereal prices and because we paid a lot of claims early last spring. Therefore if you plan to undertake work this autumn on work agreed for payment after 1 April 2011, then please get your claim in early as we should be able to pay for work completed this spring out of this year’s budget, so freeing up more funds for next year.

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