Rhododendron control (SB6): Woodland capital grants 2015

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the rhododendron control capital item.

Foresters and other land managers can apply for woodland capital grants.

Read the accompanying guidance to find out more about Countryside Stewardship woodland capital grants 2015.

How much will be paid

Slope of site Rhododendron height Payment
Level or gentle slope (0 to 11 degree incline) Average height is less than 2.5m tall £2,800 per hectare (ha)
Moderate slope (12 to 18 degree incline) Between 2.5m to 4m tall £3,200 per ha
Steep or very steep slope (19 degrees or more) Average height is over 4m tall £4,400 per ha

The higher rate will apply where the site is classed in 1 or more of these categories, e.g. if the site is on a steep slope with an average height of less than 2.5m.

Where this item is available

This item can be used on:

  • woodland

  • wood pasture

  • grassland

How it benefits the environment

This item supports rhododendron control, reducing the negative effect it can have on a site.

Rhododendron reduces the biodiversity value of a site, hindering woodland regeneration and once established, is difficult and costly to eradicate.

Rhododendron can also be a host for the fungus-like pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, which affects larch.


On the land

Successful applicants will need to:

  • check the slope on the ground -  it can’t be based solely from map contours

  • destroy all rhododendron within the target area

  • cut all live rhododendron material from the stump, allowing access for chemical spraying of any re-growth

  • treat all stumps with a suitable herbicide on the day of being cut and in frost free and rain free conditions - rain should not be forecast for at least 6 hours

  • dispose of cut material so that it allows access to stumps for chemical spraying of any re-growth

  • control any noxious weed species, such as ragwort, when the site regenerates

  • chemically treat re-growth with a recommended herbicide - follow the manufacturer’s guidance on application rates and safety requirements

  • keep the operations in line with recommendations in the Forestry Commission practice guide Managing and controlling invasive rhododendron

Removing infected rhododendron

When removing rhododendron infected with Phytophthora ramorum or Phythopthora kernoviae, successful applicants must:

  • clean or disinfect clothing, equipment and vehicles according to advice given in the Forestry Commission biosecurity guidance

  • use disinfectants that have gone through a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) safety assessment as well as an environmental assessment

Burning waste material

Successful applicants may need to discuss whether to burn cut waste material with their local Forestry Commission or Natural England adviser. If told to burn it, applicants must:

  • agree in advance where the burn site will be

  • build bonfires far enough away from trees (at least 10m from the crown of any tree) to avoid damaging them

  • make sure that burning sites and piles of wood aren’t on patches of ground where they could damage species rich grassland, anthills or other ecological or archaeological features

  • clean up the site as soon as possible after burning - burning on a metal sheet reduces damage to the soil and makes it easier to remove ash from the site

What the management plan needs to include

When used on a woodland site the woodland management plan needs to both:

  • identify rhododendron as being present

  • identify rhododendron as posing a threat to successful management

These don’t apply if rhododendron is being removed due to a tree health issue.

Keeping records

Successful applicants will need to keep:

  • an approved woodland management plan (unless the rhododendron is infected by Phytopthora ramorum, Phytophthora kernoviae or within 3km of an Statutory Plant Health Notice and a management plan isn’t needed)

  • geotagged photographs of the area before and after completion of the work (these will need to be submitted with any claim)

  • any receipted invoices and bank statements related to the work (these must be shown on request)

How to carry out this option

The following section gives advice on carrying out this item successfully but the advice is not compulsory.

Assess the slope class

The payment rate depends on the slope of the site and height of the rhododendron.

Applicants can estimate the slope by eye but a clinometer will give a better assessment.

Contours on maps can give an indication of slope but applicants will need to check the slope on the ground.

Slope class Type Percentage incline (%) Degree
1 Level 0 to 10 0 to 6
2 Gentle 11 to 20 7 to 11
3 Moderate 21 to 33 12 to 18
4 Steep 34 to 50 19 to 27
5 Very steep over 51 over 28
Published 17 February 2015