Time to maximise marginal arable and grassland with Woodland Grants?

Tom Arthey, director at property and farm business consultants Arthey Associates, is advising clients to think seriously about the performance of their marginal land, and whether low-output areas could be better served with some of the ‘green’ grant opportunities, specifically with the newly launched England Woodland Creation Offer Scheme (EWCO).

The new EWCO Scheme is open to new applicants, with a £15.9 million pot in the first year, whilst existing or recently applied for Woodland Creation and Maintenance Grant scheme participants can switch their agreement to the new format.

Woodland of varied types and sizes are supported with EWCO Scheme, as well as greater financial incentives for the long-term maintenance of those sites – £200/hectare for 10 years.

“The benefit of this particular grant is also that it does not prejudice against a farm’s future inclusion in DEFRA’s Woodland Carbon Guarantee, a £50million scheme that aims to accelerate woodland planting to offset carbon-dioxide, thereby allowing you to earn an income for planting and maintaining woodland on areas of your farm that are arguably unviable and dragging overall farm performance down, as well as benefiting from carbon capture schemes and earn further income in this way.”

Tom continues: “We know that British farms can be a real asset to the environment, capturing carbon dioxide across a range of landscapes. At Arthey Associates we are encouraging our clients to seriously think about the new England Woodland Creation Offer Scheme and the Woodland Carbon Guarantee for those areas of the farm that it makes sense to do so.

“In a world where farming is being increasingly measured for its environmental impact, and with Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) clearly signposting the direction that the government is taking, we think this Grant is a great opportunity for long term benefit to not only the environment but also your farm’s bottom line.”

As well as the maintenance payments, capital items up to a value of £8,500/hectare will be funded, with additional support for nature and species recovery, tree planting near watercourses, reduced flood risk, improved public access, planting close to settlements and improved water quality.

To discuss your options and for help with your application please contact Tom Arthey on 07748 295448 or tom@artheyassociates.co.uk

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