Tree planting (TE4): Woodland capital grants 2015

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the tree planting 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

£1.28 per tree.

Payment for creating new woodland

Successful applicants will get paid up to £6,800 per hectare (ha) for planting and protection items if they’re using this option to create new woodland.

Payments for restocking after a tree health issue

Successful applicants will get paid up to one of the following amounts for planting and protection items to restock woodland due to a tree health issue:

Restock Tree species Ancient woodland site Other
Native £3,500 £2,750
Non-native £1,750 £2,250

Where this item is available

This item can be used on:

  • bare land (any land that hasn’t been woodland for at least 10 years before the date of application)

  • woodland (following felling due to a plant health disease)

  • hedgerows

This item can be used to plant single trees, clumps of trees, hedgerows or woodlands.

When this item can’t be used

This item can’t be used:

  • if tree planting could damage areas of ecological, archaeological or historic interest

  • to plant woodland for producing Christmas trees or biomass

  • for restocking woodlands following a conditional felling licence (except where this has been issued for tree health reasons)

  • to plant ash trees

How this item benefits the environment

The item will help create a range of environmental and social benefits that:

  • supports wildlife, particularly when new woodland links habitats or creates a protective buffer

  • reduces the risk of floods, improves water quality and prevents soil erosion

  • is resilient and can adapt to climate change

  • enhances the landscape


Prepare a woodland creation plan

When creating new woodland applicants must prepare a woodland creation plan (included in the application) that states the:

  • planting objectives

  • species to be used

  • planting density (the number of trees per hectare (ha))

  • percentage of open space and means of protection (fencing or individual tree guards as appropriate)

  • areas to be planted and any areas of open space within the woodland (provide a map showing this information)

Creating or restocking woodland

Follow the requirements set out in the following table if trees are being planted to create new woodland or restock woodland:

Dimensions Create new woodland Create new woodland to improve water quality or reduce flood risk Restock after a tree health issue
Minimum agreement size 3ha 1ha 0.5ha
Minimum block size 0.5ha 0.1ha 0.5ha
Minimum width 20m 10m 20m
Minimum stocking density 400 stems per ha (sph) 1,600sph 400sph
Maximum internal open space 20% 20% 20%
Maximum individual glade area (after canopy closure) 0.5ha 0.5ha 0.5ha
Maximum linear open space width (after canopy closure) 20m 20m 20m

On the land

Successful applicants will need to:

  • supply, plant and weed young trees

  • use tree species appropriate for the soil and climatic conditions that support the planting objectives

  • select planting stock that complies with the Forest Reproductive Material Regulations 2002 (where applicable) and is appropriate in size and stock type to site and prevailing conditions

  • create a suitable planting position by spraying herbicide in advance, scarifying in lines or preparing a bare patch of land (screefing) with a spade

  • use a planting method that helps survival, with roots fully inserted in the ground with the root collar at ground level - the tree must be firmed in without damaging the stem

  • protect young trees by attaching a 0.6m spiral secured with a cane (first check and agree this with an adviser)

  • plant trees when dormant and attach the spiral guard immediately

  • maintain spirals until the trees are big enough to no longer need protection

  • stop livestock and other grazing animals from damaging the trees, use protective fencing or individual guards as needed (if using tree shelters, these will replace spiral guards)

  • remove the spiral and cane when no longer needed and dispose of or recycle them in line with waste disposal regulations

  • replace all dead plants in the following planting season (each grant funded tree must be alive and in good condition by the end of an agreement)

Keep trees weed-free

Trees must be protected from competing weeds for 3 years, or until they are big enough not to be threatened by competition from weeds.

This can be done by using suitable mulch, an appropriate herbicide or weeding by hand. Follow relevant laws and codes of practice if spraying.

Keeping records

Successful applicants will need to keep:

  • 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)

  • a record of an approved woodland creation plan, making sure it states:

    • the need for the investment

    • siting details

    • extent of planting

A woodland creation plan is not required for:

  • planting following a tree health issue

  • planting of single trees

  • planting of hedgerows

How to carry out this item

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

Selecting tree species

Select a tree species for the site that suits the management objectives, local soil, and current and predicted climate conditions. Use the FC tree species selection tool to find the right species and estimate yield class.

This item can be used on the same area as the following options and supplements:

Speak to a Forestry Commission adviser about locating other options on a site.

Published 17 February 2015