Two woodland grant schemes open for NI farmers

The schemes are designed to support farmers and landowners to plant new woodland
The schemes are designed to support farmers and landowners to plant new woodland

Two woodland grant schemes have reopened to encourage farmers and landowners in Northern Ireland to plant their own trees.

The Forest Expansion Scheme and the Small Woodland Grant Scheme are now open for applications, offering support for all types of woodland to be planted.

The Small Woodland Grant Scheme is for new native woodlands of 0.2 hectares and larger, the Department of Agriculture (DAERA) said.

The grant is paid at £2,925 per hectare, 80% in year 1 and the remaining 20% in year 5. A fencing grant is also available to secure the new woodland.

The Forest Expansion Scheme supports native woodland, mixed woodland or commercial conifer whilst contributing to the local landscape.

This grant is competitive and those projects which maximise delivery of scheme objectives at minimum cost will be prioritised and selected for funding, DAERA said.

Successful applicants to the schemes will receive up to 100% of eligible establishment costs and annual premia for a 10-year period.

NI farming minister Edwin Poots said the schemes were designed to support farmers to plant new woodland that compliments their land management objective.

“I am encouraged to see that 1.75 million trees have been planted to create almost 900 hectares of new woodland since I launched the Forests for Our Future programme.

"These new woodlands have been planted by many private landowners and public sector organisations and will benefit individuals, community and society."

Landowners who wish to plant this winter have been reminded that all applications to the Forest Expansion Scheme must be submitted by 31 August 2021.

All applications to the Small Woodland Grant Scheme must be made using the online system before 30 September 2021.