A new £3.2m fund has re-opened for landowners today, supporting projects that create and restore woodland along the HS2 phase one route.
The HS2 Woodland Fund, first launched in 2017, aims to support woodland creation and the restoration of plantations of ancient woodland sites.
The fund is available for farmers and landowners located up to 25 miles from phase one of the route from London to the West Midlands.
The HS2 Woodland Fund is managed by the Forestry Commission on behalf of HS2 Ltd.
The woodland creation aspect of the fund will now be available under the Forestry Commission’s England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO).
Funding for the restoration of ancient woodland sites will remain as a standalone offer and will be open to applications over the next two years.
Applications will be assessed four times per year, with the first deadline on 30 June 2023.
Sir William Worsley, Forestry Commission chair, said: “We must ensure that woodlands and habitats impacted by HS2 are effectively restored and protected.
“By facilitating the creation of new woodland, and bringing new life to ancient woodlands, the HS2 Woodland Fund will continue to be instrumental in ensuring that any loss from the project is sufficiently compensated for.”
HS2’s Biodiversity Lead David Prys-Jones said the fund was a component of the company's extensive Green Corridor environmental programme.
"[It] is designed to help landowners near to the HS2 route create new native, broadleaved woodlands and restore existing ancient woodland sites.
“This forms part of HS2’s wider strategy to create a network of bigger, better-connected, climate resilient habitats and new green spaces for people and wildlife to enjoy.”
Eligible farmers and landowners are encouraged to consider their plans and discuss potential applications with the Forestry Commission.
To plant trees in the 2023/24 planting season applications will need to be received by 30 June 2023.