More than £19 million has been made available by Government to support the creation of new woodlands over 30 hectares, which will help meet future carbon targets.
The fund is part of the Government’s commitment to plant 11 million trees by the end of the Parliament.
Landowners and managers can apply for grants and will be encouraged to create woodlands close to communities which provide public access.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Woodland creation is an important part of our ambition to leave the environment in a better state than we found it, which is why we are making more than £19 million available as part of our commitment to plant 11 million trees by 2020.
“This new fund will encourage large scale planting, helping us reduce our carbon footprint, while creating new forests to enjoy for generations to come.”
Richard Greenhous, director of forestry services at Forestry Commission England, added: “The Woodland Carbon Fund is designed as a simple, demand led grant scheme to demonstrate how woodland creation can help meet Government’s future carbon targets and deliver the wide range of other benefits that woodlands bring.
“We are now open for business. I encourage anyone interested in applying to contact us at the Forestry Commission at the earliest opportunity. We look forward to supporting the creation of some really exciting woodlands under this new scheme.”
Woods can deliver a range of benefits, including increased biodiversity, improved water quality, prevention of soil erosion, enhanced flood protection and producing timber and wood fuel.
The fund is part of a package of grants available with dedicated advice and support available from the Forestry Commission that aims to encourage more private sector investment in large scale woodland creation.
The scheme is open to eligible farmers, local authorities, community forests, other landowners and managers.
Maximum grants available will range between £6,800 and £8,500 per hectare depending on its location, with the higher rate available where there is an access need and permissive access is granted.
Discretionary footpath access payments will also be available.
Applicants can apply for the grant from 10 November by completing an expression of interest application form.
This can be emailed to the scheme administrator at: firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to:
Woodland Carbon Fund – WCF
Suffolk, IP27 0TJ
Applicants will have to produce a Woodland Creation Design Plan (with funding available through the Woodland Creation Planning Grant) and obtain regulatory consent.
Full details of how to apply and the criteria necessary will be available on the Forestry Commission website www.forestry.gov.uk/england-wcf which will be open from 13.30 hrs on 10 November.