Landowners, land managers and public bodies can apply to the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) for support to create new woodland, including through natural colonisation, on areas as small as one hectare. You could receive over £10,000 per hectare to support your woodland creation scheme.
EWCO is one of a suite of Forestry Commission initiatives to support woodland creation and tree planting across England. See our Tree planting and woodland creation: overview page for details of our other current funding opportunities.
To hear from landowners who have already completed successful woodland creation projects on their land, see our Woodland creation case studies page.
How to apply for EWCO step by step
To apply for a grant under EWCO you will need to follow these steps:
- Find out if you are eligible by talking to your Woodland Creation Officer and decide if you want to apply for a Woodland Creation Planning Grant to help you design your new woodland
- You must register with Rural Payments to get Single Business Identifier (SBI) and Customer Reference Number (CRN) before you can apply. You will also need to register your land before we can offer you a grant agreement. We recommend you start this process as soon as possible
- Make an application using the guidance on our forms page. Always check this page to make sure you are working to the latest guidance and application forms
- Once your agreement is approved and you have completed the work, claim for your payment
- The first five years of annual maintenance payments will be paid automatically. You will then need to claim again for payments in years six to ten
Find out if you are eligible
EWCO is open to owner occupiers, tenants, landlords and licensors who have full management control of the land in the application (if you don’t have full management control you will need consent from those who do). Joint applications, multiple land managers and applications on common land and areas of shared grazing are eligible.
Land is eligible if it is:
- in England
- within the full management control of the applicant (or, where applicable, any counter-signatories)
- not already classified as woodland
- not subject to any existing legal requirement or obligation to create woodland
- not subject to a dispute between landlords and tenants
- not currently within an existing grant agreement that has more than five months left to run at the time the EWCO application is submitted (if the land or part of it is in an Environmental Stewardship agreement it may be possible to transfer the land into EWCO as long as certain conditions are met)
EWCO is a criteria-based competitive scheme. We will offer Agreements to applicants with woodland creation proposals whose scores meet or exceed a threshold score. The threshold score is currently ten points.