By now you may have seen the changes to SFI (Sustainable Farming Incentive) and CS (Countryside Stewardship) that were released following the Oxford Farming Conference (if not see the link below).
But. Did you notice the changes to the woodland management options?
There are rate increases for all options and a range of new options, most of which look like they can be stacked. We encourage you to look through these and see if they apply to your woodland.
The changes included a small detail, which for many people may be significant. The minimum area for woodland management grants has been lowered from 3ha to 0.5ha. This is good news because, while the base CS option for woodland management WS2 is paid per hectare, schemes between 3ha and 10ha receive a lump sum of £1,000 per year. The eligibility criteria haven’t been updated on the .gov web page yet, so nothing is certain, but this could mean that 0.5ha of woodland could be eligible for a minimum of £1,000 / year.
The process for accessing these grants is to first apply for the woodland management planning grant, which will pay £1,500 for an approved woodland management plan. You can ask a forestry agent to do this for you or you can do it yourself.
Once you have an approved management plant you can apply for a CS Higher Tier either as a standalone forestry application or as a mixed application that includes agricultural options too. The table below shows the options you can include.
Also below is a link to the applicant guide for higher-tier applications, but the best thing to do is speak to your agent or a Forestry Commission Woodland officer, who should already be aware of your woodland from the woodland management plan process.
Finally, if you would like help finding an agent or you would like free advice specific to your woodland feel free to contact Cumbria Woodlands in any of the following ways.
By email: email@example.com
By phone: 07960 085 795
By filling out an online form: https://wkf.ms/3OUiCRT