FY2: Woodland infrastructure

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the woodland infrastructure item.

How much will be paid

40% of actual costs

Where to use this item

Available for Higher Tier and Woodland Creation Grant.

How this item will benefit the environment

It will make woodlands more accessible by road, allowing timber and other forest products to be moved more easily. This will improve the management of the woodland. Applications for Woodland Creation Grant can include this item to support the establishment of new woodland through the movement of planting stock (forestry products) and their maintenance, where the woodland creation plan in your application identifies that poor access currently prevents this.


An existing FC approved woodland management plan must identify that poor vehicle access to the woodland is preventing the movement of timber and other forest products.

Agreement holders are likely to need to prepare a detailed specification, tailored to the site. The specification needs to set out the work that will be carried out on site, the volume of timber that is expected to be produced and the soil conditions on the site.

The work could include the construction and maintenance of:

  • extraction tracks for mechanised timber extraction to a transfer point
  • haulage roads and turning points
  • haulage road entrances or laybys
  • profiling and paving timber transfer points and stacking areas
  • culverts and other road and track side drainage
  • woodland security, such as gates for new entrance points

The specification needs to meet national legislation, following the construction, design and management (CDM) regulations for forest roads and tracks. Further information about the CDM regulations is available in the Forestry Commission’s Operations Note 25.

Keeping records

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • any consents or permissions connected with the work
  • please see the record keeping and inspection requirements as set out in the Higher Tier manual for more detail

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them with the claim:

  • receipted invoices, or bank statements where a receipted invoice is not available
  • photographs of the completed work

Applicants will have to send the following with their application:

  • the 3 quotes for completion of the work
  • Forestry Commission Management Plan approval letter
  • photograph before works commence
  • consent from local planning authority if required

Before applying for this item applicants must notify the local planning authority so it can determine whether the work can be classified as a permitted development. This requires the applicant to submit a description of the work to the local authority.

Permitted developments do not require full planning permission. The requirement for full planning permission is dependent on proximity to the public highway or designations on the site. Full planning permission is required where a new access is constructed from a classified public highway.

Obtain consent for work from the Local Planning Authority (or internal drainage boards within an internal drainage district) where the road crosses a watercourse or uses culverts during construction, use or maintenance. Applicants must send a copy of the Local Planning Authority’s advice and any permits with their application.

The Forestry Commission will decide whether the work requires consent under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) Regulations. This is dependent on whether the proposal will have a significant effect on the environment.

The detailed requirements for this item will be tailored to the Higher Tier site. Higher Tier applicants should discuss and agree these requirements with their adviser.

Further information

See the Higher Tier manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 18 September 2017 + show all updates
  1. Includes Woodland Creation Grant.
  2. Updated for 2017 applications.
  3. Information updated for applications in 2016.
  4. First published.