Electronic alert: September 23, 2021 – Updates to the timber creation offer in England
1. Amendments to Environmental Stewardship Agreements to Apply to England’s Timber Creation Offer
Following the collective work of Defra, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), Natural England and the Forestry Commission, land managers can now transfer land from an Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreement on the England Woodland Creation offer (EWCO) without recovery of ES payments, under certain conditions.
The conditions are:
a. the transfer of land into EWCO will result in a marked improvement in environmental management on these lands, compared to management under the current regime ES agreement
b. the ES the agreement remains viable after the transfer of the land and the withdrawal of the ES agreement
1.1 How will it work?
When we receive a EWCO request for land in a ES Okay, we will organize the RPA to assess whether these conditions are met. The RPA will carry out this assessment with advice from Natural England.
When the conditions are met, we will process the EWCO request and the applicant should contact the RPA to modify the ES agreement (to remove the affected plots). The ES the amendment will not be finalized until the EWCO the request has been processed.
Where the EWCO the application is accepted, we will offer a EWCO Agreement in principle. The applicant will then have to instruct the RPA complete the amendment to allow the EWCO agreement to go live.
If you now wish to apply for EWCO on earth in a ES agreement please submit a EWCO application, filling out the forms and following the online instructions.
We will contact customers directly affected by this change.
For inquiries regarding EWCO or the process described above, please contact EWCOenquiries@forestrycommission.gov.uk. For inquiries regarding conditions (a) and (b), or the process of removing land from a ES agreement, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Updates from EWCO Grants Manual
Version 2.0 of EWCO The Grants Manual is now available on GOV.UK.
The EWCO The Grants Manual has been updated to include the following:
2.1 Update EWCO layer names in Land Information Search (SIL)
Spatial targeting layers for EWCO now contain the ‘EWCO‘prefix in the SIL to make it easier for candidates to select relevant layers (e.g. ‘EWCO Biodiversity – Priority Habitats Network ‘).
2.2 Chartered Accountants’ Statements for Agreements with Capital Costs Over £ 50,000
Statements from accountants confirming that applicants have the necessary funds to complete the capital works should be dated within the past three months.
2.3 Plant trees on existing woods
EWCO will not pay to plant trees on land that is considered an existing woodlot.
2.4 Species not tested
The untested species were redefined as “species whose performance, invasion potential and susceptibility to known phytosanitary problems when grown in England are currently unproven”. These species will be authorized at the discretion of the Forestry Commission.
2.5 Requirements for a fully wooded open space
The approval of your forestry officer will be required for discrete areas exceeding 0.5 ha of non-linear open space.
EWCO and environmental stewardship
Land managers can now transfer land from a ES agreement in the EWCO without the recovery of ES payments, under certain conditions.
Advice on using the Land Information Search to check if you are eligible for additional contributions under EWCO.
As part of the ongoing work to improve the search for land information, research the names of the spatial layers that you need to check to see if you are eligible for additional contributions in EWCO have been revised.
Please use the following under Targeting and Scoring:
- Biodiversity – Priority Habitat Network
- Water – Water quality
- Water – Risk of flooding
- Transversal – Keeping rivers cool
- NfC Social
- Capture of NfC ammonia emissions for SSSI protection
In finding land information, you can make the layers you are viewing transparent. The transparency you set will apply to all layers.
To apply the transparency setting:
- Click the ellipses (…) next to “Data” at the top of the map layer menu
- Click Transparency
- Use the slider to set the desired transparency. This setting will apply to all layers you view
4. Woodland Carbon Guarantee Fourth Auction Results
The fourth auction for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee closed on August 1, 2021.
A total of 23 projects were submitted to the fourth auction, which was a competitive process with a good number of successful entrants. A total of 19 contracts were offered by the Forestry Commission covering 331 hectares, of which 111 hectares are mainly native forests.
The fourth auction encouraged a series of bids for different types of forests. The average price paid for Woodland Carbon units in the fourth auction was £ 20.32. However, this should not be taken as a firm indicator of acceptable bids in future auctions. Applicants should be aware that the auction process is competitive and that the lowest bids are more likely to be successful.
The date of the next auction in 2022 will be released in due course, further warranty information can be found online.
5. Successful application for the Tree Production Innovation Fund
We are delighted to announce the recent success of the Tree Production Innovation Fund application window. We received 31 applications in total.
Applicants will be informed of their funding decision by 11:59 p.m. on September 28, 2021.
Learn more about the fund on our website.
6. Help shape our future approach to protecting plants from pests and diseases
A new consultation launched to inform the new plant biosecurity strategy that will protect the country’s plants from harmful pests and diseases.
Avid gardeners, nurserymen, farmers, landowners and environmental groups can all participate in the 10-week consultation.
Britain already has some of the most robust biosecurity measures in the world, but our approach is constantly reviewed to ensure these standards are maintained and plants are protected as we face new challenges.
The consultation defines a new vision for plant health and potential measures to strengthen the existing biosecurity regime. Consultation closes on November 30, 2021.
7. Amendments to logging permit applications
The slaughter permit application process will be streamlined when swift action is required to prevent the spread of pests or diseases and to protect public safety.
A limited number of logging permit applications directly related to the management of pests and diseases of trees may be exempt from registration in the Public Consultation Register prior to tree felling.
The change will take effect on October 22, 2021 and will be applied to very specific situations, for example to prevent the spread of quarantine pests or diseases.
You can read more about the changes online.
8. Forestry England Forest Creation Program Shifts to Year-Round Applications
The Forestry England Woodland Partnership is moving to a year round program, with applications now welcome anytime.
The scheme offers long-term rental income to farmers, landowners and public bodies in exchange for a minimum lease of 50 hectares.
It also gives applicants the opportunity to diversify their farming or land activities and receive guaranteed and regular payments by leasing land from Forestry England to create and manage new forests.
Further information on the Forestry England Woodland Partnership and the application process can be found at Forestry England website.