New woodland creation scheme offers rent to farmers

The new woodland scheme is open for applications until 1 June 2021
The new woodland scheme is open for applications until 1 June 2021

A new woodland creation scheme which offers rent to farmers and landowners in return for a long-term lease is launching this week.

The Woodland Partnership aims to create significant new areas of high-quality, biodiverse woodlands across England.

According to Forestry England, it requires limited financial investment, no forestry expertise and guarantees regular payments.

Applications are needed from a wide range of farmers who can offer a minimum of 50 hectares for a long-term lease of between 60 and 120 years.

Once a lease partnership is agreed, Forestry England says it will design, plant and manage every site including any local consultations or engagement.

This means farmers will see woodland established on their land without the need for capital investment or their own forestry expertise.

They will also receive an annual rental payment for the duration of the lease, Forestry England explains.

Once established, the woodlands will bring benefits to the landscape by providing wildlife habitats to boost biodiversity, improve air quality and mitigate soil erosion.

Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said the scheme, which is open for applications until 1 June 2021, could be the 'perfect fit' for farmers and landowners.

“As part of our ambitious tree planting commitments and commitment to increase access to nature, we need to see thriving biodiverse woodlands established.

"This scheme will not only contribute towards climate mitigation, but also provide a huge range of other benefits for the environment, nature and people.”