Find out about the Local Authority Treescapes Fund Round 4 and how to apply for funding to establish trees outside of woodland.
Applies to England
What is the Local Authority Treescapes Fund?
The LATF is the government offer for local authorities (LAs) to restore tree cover in non-woodland areas which may have been impacted by issues such as disease, habitat degradation or ageing tree stock. The fund is focused on planting and natural colonisation of trees in areas outside of woodlands, including parklands, riparian zones, urban areas, beside roads and footpaths as well as trees in hedgerows and field boundaries (not hedgerows themselves).
LATF funded trees can be small or large, and in urban or rural settings. Planting of standards in urban or peri urban areas must be direct replacements of trees lost to threats such as pests and diseases.
The fund aims to improve landscape connectivity outside woodland, increase natural colonisation where appropriate and provide benefits to ecosystems and society, such as carbon absorption, flood protection and support for biodiversity.
The fund is part of the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund and will directly contribute to achieving our ambitious tree planting targets to restore habitats in England.
The LATF is now open all year and is inviting bids with a minimum value of £50,000 through competitive bidding. The LATF operates on a first-come first-served basis with applications being assessed every 2 months in batches received between:
1 September 2023 to 31 October 2023
1 November 2023 to 31 December 2023
1 January 2024 to 29 February 2024
1 March 2024 to 30 April 2024
1 May 2024 to 30 June 2024: this is the final date for LATF applications in Round 4.
Applications received after 30 June 2023 will be considered for projects which plan to begin planting during the planting season in the 2024-2025 financial year. These projects must be able to complete their capital work and claim for them by 31 March 2025 and we encourage early applications.
Local Authorities are encouraged to work with schools, other organisations, grass root organisations, community groups, NGOs and private individuals to deliver tree planting.
Funding will be awarded as capital grants under Section 31 of the Local Government Act (2003). Section 31 agreements allow government to pay recipients upfront and in advance of tree planting being done.
LATF is a criteria-based competitive scheme, where applications must meet the minimum scoring threshold to be successful, with capital funding offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Who is eligible?
Borough, District and City Councils, as well as County Councils, Unitary and Metropolitan Boroughs may apply individually or in groups.
Group applications from multiple local authorities are still strongly encouraged, as partnership working maximises the shared benefits for each partner. Group applications must have one lead local authority, which may be from either tier.
There is no limit on how many applications may be received per upper tier local authority area, and each bid will be scored independently based on your application. There may be only one application per applicant per year.
Parish councils will not be able to apply individually but will be able to apply as part of a group application with a District or City Council, as well as County Councils, Unitary and Metropolitan Boroughs.
Biosecure procurement requirement
From 1 July 2023, all new applicants to LATF (for planting during the 2024-25 winter season and beyond) must use suppliers who can demonstrate they can meet the Plant Health Management Standard. For information and support on how to comply with the requirement read our guide: Biosecure Procurement Requirement Pilot for Plants and Trees.
How do Local Authorities (LA) apply?
LATF applicants are required to register with Rural Payments to obtain a Single Business Identifier (SBI). This information must be provided in your application. Land submitted in an LATF application does not need to be registered on the Rural Land Register.
You would be required to complete an application to apply, which includes:
- Local Authority Treescapes Fund application form
- Project Cost Calculator
- Local Authority Treescapes Fund Memorandum of Understanding
- Biosecure procurement exception form
When can I apply?
The fund is open for applications until 30 June 2024, with early applications recommended. Please refer to the dates above for details of how applications will be processed in the rolling window.
Please note that for agreements offered before 31 March 2024, the 50% up-front payment will be held until the 2024-25 financial year.
You can check this webpage for any updates or subscribe to Forestry Commission eAlerts for the latest information.
How many years of tree planting does the grant fund?
The LATF is a capital only grant and covers costs of tree planting and natural colonisation activities in 2024-25. These activities must be completed and claims for by 31 March 2025. It also funds the cost of maintenance activities for three years following planting and natural colonisation.
How does the LATF work?
Capital funding will be provided for tree planting, aftercare and to support natural colonisation. Tree planting and activities to support natural colonisation must be delivered within the first planting season and claimed for by 31st March 2025. Claims must be supported with a Post-Planting Report.
LA’s may only apply for a one-year planting period (planting season (winter) 2024-25). 50% of the funding for planting that year will be provided up front (following agreement of the Memorandum of Understanding and submission of a claim) and the remaining 50% will be provided upon receipt of the Post-Planting Report (for planting work completed that financial year). All claims for capital work (planting and/or establishing conditions for natural colonisation) must be completed and made by 31 March 2025.
Maintenance payments will be made annually for 3 years, after LAs submit a claim to the Forestry Commission showing they have done maintenance activity.
What are the application requirements?
The LATF application pack contains details of all application requirements. The main sections of the application form require the following information:
- details of applicant and delivery partners
- evidence of funding need
- benefits of the planting and/or natural colonisation
- details of project delivery and natural colonisation
- completion of a Project Cost Calculator, providing an estimate of costs to deliver the plan and maintenance costs i.e. your total LATF bid
- LAs will be expected to commit to reporting requirements, agree to the Memorandum of Understanding and confirm they have carried out required due diligence in compiling planting plans
Making a claim
The LATF claims form has been updated. Please use the Local Authority Treescapes Fund Claims Form to make a claim for claim 1 and claim 3.
For further information please contact LATF@forestrycommission.gov.uk.
Interested in applying for LATF? Find out more
Please see the Local Authority Treescapes Fund application pack page or contact us at LATF@forestrycommission.gov.uk. Please be aware that in future you may receive emails from us from the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information on Forestry Commission grants
You can subscribe to Forestry Commission eAlerts to receive information on grants and regulations, and get the latest news from the Forestry Commission.