Extra Money for New Woodlands in Exmoor

The creation of new native woodland in and around Exmoor National Park has received a further boost with the news that the Forestry Commission has increased its rates of planting grants this year.

Ancient Woodland at Tarr Steps/ENPA

Ancient Woodland at Tarr Steps/ENPA

The Woodland Creation Grant, part of the Forestry Commissions England Woodland Grant Scheme can now offer up to £3800 per hectare for the planting of native woodland which extends areas of existing ancient woodland in the Exmoor Ancient Woodland Priority Area.

Eligible areas will receive a further £60 per hectare per year for 15 years and land receiving Single Farm Payments will be unaffected.

“Ancient woodland is one of our richest habitats which has become fragmented in the landscape and reduced in size over the last 50 – 100 years” commented Graeme McVittie, Forestry Commission and Exmoor National Park Woodland Officer. “It is now well understood that reconnecting and extending these valuable wildlife habitats with areas of new woodland is an effective way of helping to protect and enhance them for the future. Larger schemes are particularly valuable, but even relatively small areas which link woodlands together can be immensely important. We have already created around 200 hectares of new native woodland over the last 10 years or so but we hope these increased grants will bring more schemes forward”.

The grants are targeted in the Exmoor Ancient Woodland Priority Area which includes the whole of the National Park and additional areas of North and Mid Devon south of the National Park to South Molton and Tiverton and further parts of West Somerset over to Wiveliscombe.

This is an area which still supports significant areas of ancient woodland.

There are also Woodland Improvement Grants of up to 80% of agreed costs available to assist with the management of these woodlands; work which is often needed to improve conditions for threatened wildlife such as woodland birds or to help with improving management access.

Anyone who would like more information should contact Graeme McVittie at Exmoor National Park Authority on 01398 322 276.

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