Grants For Tr££s

Table of Contents [hide]
      1. 1.1 Forestry Commission Grants
      2. 1.2 Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (FWPS)
      3. 1.3 Crofting Grants for Forestry
      4. 1.4 Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) Scheme
      5. 1.5 Countryside Stewardship Scheme
      6. 1.6 Rural Stewardship Scheme (RSS)
      7. 1.7 Tir Gofal
      8. 1.8 Countryside Management Scheme (Northern Ireland)
      9. 1.9 England Rural Development Programme
      10. 1.9.1 Energy Crops Scheme
      1. 2.1 English Nature
      2. 2.2 Scottish Natural Heritage
      3. 2.3 Countryside Council for Wales
      4. 2.4 Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland)
      5. 2.5 Management Agreements
      6. 2.6 Environmental Action Fund
      7. 2.7 Sports Councils
      8. 2.8 National Parks
      9. 2.9 UK National Lottery
      10. 2.10 National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF)
      11. 2.11 Local Authorities
      1. 3.1 The National Forest
      2. 3.2 Community Forests
      3. 3.3 Other Areas with Additional Forestry Commission Planting Grants
      4. 3.3.1 South West Forest
      5. 3.3.2 Sherwood Initiative/Sherwood Forest Trust
      6. 3.3.3 Central Scotland Forest/Central Scotland Countryside Trust
      7. 3.3.4 Grampian Forest
      8. 3.4 Other Regional Woodland Projects
      9. 3.4.1 Anglian Woodland Project
      10. 3.4.2 Chiltern Woodlands Project
      11. 3.4.3 Coed Cymru
      12. 3.4.4 Coed Meirion
      13. 3.4.5 Cumbria Woodlands
      14. 3.4.6 Deeside Forest
      15. 3.4.7 Edinburgh Green Belt Trust
      16. 3.4.8 Forest of Belfast Initiative
      17. 3.4.9 Forest of Cardiff
      18. 3.4.10 Forest of Spey
      19. 3.4.11 Grampian Woodlands Project
      20. 3.4.12 Lincwoods
      21. 3.4.13 North Highland Forest Trust
      22. 3.4.14 NORTHWOODS
      23. 3.4.15 Oxfordshire Woodland Project
      24. 3.4.16 Silvanus Trust
      25. 3.4.17 Wessex Coppice Group
      26. 3.4.18 Working Woodlands
      27. 3.4.19 YORWOODS
      28. 3.4.20 Countryside Management Service
      1. 4.1 Tree Council
      2. 4.2 Woodland Trust
      3. 4.3 Scottish Forestry Trust
      4. 4.4 Other Grant-Making Trusts and Charities
      5. 4.4.1 National Playing Fields Association
      6. 4.4.2 Ethnic Minorities Award Scheme
      7. 4.4.3 Prince's Trust - Cymru
      8. 4.5 Information Sources on Trusts and Charities
      9. 4.6 Finding Volunteer Labour
      10. 4.7 Machinery Rings
      1. 5.1 The Conservation Foundation
      2. 5.1.1 Henry Ford European Conservation Awards
      3. 5.1.2 Wessex Watermark
      4. 5.2 Shell Better Britain Campaign
      5. 5.3 CWS Community Dividend Scheme (Co-Op)
      6. 5.4 Forward Scotland
      7. 5.5 Groundwork
      8. 5.6 The Greenbelt Group of Companies
      9. 5.7 Landfill Tax Credit Scheme
      10. 5.8 Local Sponsorship
    6. Section 6. LOANS FOR FORESTRY
      1. 6.1 Agricultural Mortgage Corporation
      2. 6.2 Barclays Scotland in Association with Bell Ingram Rural (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.)
      3. 6.3 Royal Bank of Scotland in Association with Fountain Forestry
      4. 6.4 Bank of Scotland in Association with Scottish Woodlands
      5. 6.5 Clydesdale Bank in Association with Scottish Woodlands
      6. 6.6 The Ecology Building Society
      7. 6.7 Other Banks
      1. 7.1 Development Agencies
      2. 7.2 England Rural Development Programme
      3. 7.2.1 Rural Enterprise Scheme
      4. 7.2.2 Vocational Training Scheme
      5. 7.3 Forestry Commission Marketing Assistance
      6. 7.4 Forestry & Timber Association
    8. Section 8. TAXATION OF FORESTRY
      1. 8.1 Income and Corporation Tax
      2. 8.2 Capital Gains Tax
      3. 8.3 Inheritance Tax
      4. 8.4 Value Added Tax
      1. 9.1 Advice Through Grant Schemes
      2. 9.2 Professional Consultants and Contractors
      3. 9.3 Royal Forestry Societies
      4. 9.4 Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group
      5. 9.5 Countryside Advice and Information Service/ADAS
      6. 9.6 Learning Through Landscapes
      7. 9.7 Living Churchyard & Cemetery Project
      8. 9.8 National Urban Forestry Unit
      9. 9.9 Local Authorities
      10. 9.10 Wildlife Trusts
      11. 9.11 TECs/LECs and Business Links/Connects
      12. 9.12 Eco-Lots
      13. 9.13 Other Useful Organisations
      14. Test


This section lists the main sources of government aid for trees, through the Forestry Commission and UK Government Departments. It is a general rule of government funding that applicants may not receive public money from two sources for the same work (dual funding).

1.1 Forestry Commission Grants

The Forestry Commission (FC) is the major provider of grants for planting and maintaining woodlands in England, Wales and Scotland. The Forest Service has a similar role in N. Ireland. The Woodland Grant Scheme or WGS is the main grant scheme for trees. It is administered by the FC in Great Britain, and by the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service in Northern Ireland, to encourage planting and management of woodland for timber, landscape, conservation, sports and recreation by providing money to help towards the cost of the work. Job creation and rural prosperity are also objectives, as is providing an alternative use for land taken out of agricultural production. Areas must normally exceed 0.25 ha (0.2 ha in Northern Ireland), and applicants will be required to manage their woods in accordance with an approved five-year plan. On receipt of an application, the FC may consult with other authorities in respect of land use, amenity or nature conservation aspects of the proposal, and work must not begin before approval is given. If an application includes proposals for creating new woodlands or for felling trees, information about it will appear on the Public Register. Copies of the register are widely circulated and this allows people to find out about the proposals and to give the FC more information or to make comments. A raft of schemes cover:

  • Planting & Restocking
  • Natural Regeneration
  • Native Pinewoods
  • Challenge Funds
  • Management
  • Woodland Improvement

Some schemes have wide geographical coverage - others are localised; some are long running - others are once-off. For detailed information click on and

1.2 Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (FWPS)

The Farm Woodland Premium Scheme, which is designed to enhance the environment through the planting of farm woodlands, is administered by the four UK Agriculture Departments. The FWPS offers long term annual payments. These payments are for income forgone and may be in addition to the full range of establishment grants available under the Woodland Grant Scheme (see 1.1). There are minimum and maximum areas under the FWPS. For detailed information click on and Further information on government FORESTRY grants and FWPS: Great Britain: Forestry Commission Conservancy Offices or Grants and Licences, Country Services, 231 Corstorphine Rd, Edinburgh EH12 7AT. Tel 0131-334 0303. Fax 0131-334 3943. Website: Northern Ireland: Private Woodlands & Plant Heath Branch, Forest Service, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Rd, Belfast BT4 3SB. Tel 02890 524466/4448. Fax 02890 524802; e-mail;

1.3 Crofting Grants for Forestry

In the crofting counties (the former counties of Argyll, Caithness, Inverness, Orkney, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, and Shetland) Crofters' Common Grazings can, with the landlord's approval and the Crofters Commission's consent, be planted with trees. WGS and FWPS grants may apply. Grants may be available through the Crofting Counties Agricultural Grants Scheme (CCAGS) for planting shelterbelts for the protection of stock or crops. The Crofting Community Development Scheme (CCDS) can assist crofting groups, such as Common Grazings Committees, who are undertaking the management of a diverse local plan. WGS and FWPS grants must be applied for through the Forestry Commission before work commences. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information: or

1.4 Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) Scheme

The ESA Scheme was introduced in 1987 with the purpose of protecting the landscape, wildlife and historic interest of specific areas which were of national environmental significance, where changes in farming methods posed a threat to the environment and where conservation depended on adopting, maintaining or extending particular farming methods. The scheme is voluntary and farmers receive an annual payment based on income forgone for entering into management agreements. Each of the ESAs has its own environmental objectives tailored to the specific area. Farmers with ESA agreements may still have access to woodland grants, provided that there is no overlap of finance or conflict of aims between the schemes. ESA schemes are not open to new applicants in Wales and Scotland. The designated areas are currently as follows: England: Avon Valley; Blackdown Hills; Breckland; Broads; Clun; Cotswold Hills; Dartmoor; Essex Coast; Exmoor; Lake District; North Kent Marshes; North Peak; Pennine Dales; Shropshire Hills; Somerset Levels and Moors; South Downs; South Wessex Downs; South West Peak; Suffolk River Valleys; Test Valley; Upper Thames Tributaries; West Penrith. Northern Ireland: Antrim Coast, Glens and Rathlin; Mournes and Slieve Croob; Slieve Gullion; Sperrins; West Fermanagh and Erne Lakeland. Further information:

1.5 Countryside Stewardship Scheme

Outside ESAs, in England DEFRA (through the Countryside Stewardship Scheme) offers incentives and advice to help land managers to adopt environmentally-friendly farming practices and to manage particular habitats and features in the interests of conservation. DEFRA's Countryside Stewardship Scheme operates in particular landscapes, including upland moors and meadows, old orchards and wetlands and watersides. The scheme offers payments for positive changes in management. Anyone who manages land and is able to meet the Countryside Stewardship's objectives can apply to join the scheme. By the tenth anniversary of the scheme in 2001, there were around 13,000 agreement holders. Further information:

1.6 Rural Stewardship Scheme (RSS)

ESAs in Scotland, along with the now closed Countryside Premium Scheme, have merged to become the Rural Stewardship Scheme. The Rural Stewardship Scheme in Scotland is an agri-environment scheme designed to encourage farmers, crofters and common grazings committees to adopt environmentally-friendly practices and to maintain and enhance particular habitats and landscape features. The scheme is funded partly by the EU and provides payments for a range of management, creation and capital options. Management prescriptions which may be of particular interest are management of extended hedges, management of hedgerows, management of scrub (including tall herb communities), and management of native or semi-natural woodland. Capital options include planting, replanting, coppicing or laying of hedges and amenity tree planting. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

1.7 Tir Gofal

In Wales, the ESAs, Habitat, Moorland, Tir Cymen and the Countryside Access Scheme have been replaced by a new agri-environment scheme, Tir Gofal ('Land in Care'), which has been developed and is open to all farmers, not just those in particular areas. Tir Gofal will encourage farmers throughout Wales to maintain and enhance the agricultural landscape and wildlife. The scheme is being run by the Countryside Council for Wales (see section 2.4). (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

1.8 Countryside Management Scheme (Northern Ireland)

In Northern Ireland, the CMS is open to all farms outside the Environmentally Sensitive Areas. CMS aims to maintain species diversity, improve water quality in rivers and lakes and maintain and enhance landscape and heritage features. It is a whole-farm scheme and includes payments for the positive management of areas of broadleaved woodland. Further information:

1.9 England Rural Development Programme

The England Rural Development Programme is a £1.6 billion, seven-year (2000-06) framework of support covering 10 separate but integrated schemes aimed at protecting the environment and supporting the rural economy and communities. Some of the schemes provide direct support for the planting of trees or the maintenance of woodland. Others provide more indirect benefits for the creation and use of woodlands. More information on the ERDP can be obtained from your DEFRA office or from the DEFRA website at

1.9.1 Energy Crops Scheme

In substitution for fossil fuels, energy crops have the potential to make a significant contribution to reductions in one of the greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide) which can drive climate change and to the achievement of renewable energy targets. In England, energy crops are supported under the Energy Crops Scheme, which is a scheme run in partnership with the Forestry Commission. Relevant to trees are establishment grants for short-rotation coppice (SRC). Grants may be available towards the costs of establishment of short-rotation coppice (poplar or willow). Further information: Forest Service Northern Ireland is considering the introduction of a challenge fund for short rotation coppice for an energy end use. Further information:


Besides the main forestry grants in Section 1, there are several other ways in which government funding may be channelled into tree planting or management. Some are small or localised, such as National Park grants. In others, such as derelict land grants, trees may only be a small part of the schemes which, nevertheless, may be an important way of encouraging more planting. In yet other schemes, trees may not be specified at all - as with Tourist Boards and Sports Councils - but the aims of their grants can perhaps be furthered by trees. The rule against double funding applies (see the introduction to Section 1). Government funding is also involved in Sections 3, 4, 5 and 7. Many of the grant sources listed in those sections are based on partnerships, which include a government department or agency, along with other bodies.

2.1 English Nature

In general, English Nature may give grants to anyone doing anything which it considers helpful to wildlife conservation. However, all grants are severely limited. Further information: contact English Nature's local team office, whose address and telephone number is listed in local telephone directories or their website. The organisation's headquarters is at English Nature, Northminster House, Peterborough PE1 1UA. Tel 01733 455000. Fax 01733 568834 E-mail: Website:

2.2 Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage has wide powers to grant aid toward activities which improve conservation, promote public enjoyment or increase awareness and understanding, including environmental education and interpretation, and community and voluntary action. Grants can be for improving degraded areas, improving access, acquiring and managing land, promoting people's appreciation of it, or developing a community's capacity to manage land. Further information: and click on grant support.

2.3 Countryside Council for Wales

The Countryside Council for Wales may offer grants towards schemes which conserve and enhance the quality of the landscape of Wales and the richness of its wildlife, and schemes which provide opportunities for access to the countryside and facilities for enjoyment and understanding. All grants are discretionary. The CCW also administers the Tir Gofal all-Wales agri-environmental scheme, which is designed to support the farming community in conserving the landscape and wildlife of Wales and to encourage greater opportunities for public access. Application details can be obtained from local CCW offices. Further information: Enquiries Unit, Countryside Council for Wales, Plas Penrhos, Ffordd Penrhos, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2LQ. Tel 01248 385500. Fax 01248 385771. E-mail: Website:

2.4 Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland)

The Environment and Heritage Service, an agency within the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland), aims through its grants programme to encourage the conservation and enhancement of key elements of the countryside and its wildlife and to encourage the provision of facilities which help as wide a range of people as possible to enjoy and appreciate the natural heritage of Northern Ireland. Grants are available for a wide range of projects. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information: Natural Heritage Grants Section, Environment and Heritage Service, Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland), Commonwealth House, 35 Castle St, Belfast BT1 1GH. Tel 028-9025 1477. Fax 028-9054 6660. E-mail: Website:

2.5 Management Agreements

Management Agreements can be offered for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) by English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage or the Countryside Council for Wales. The Countryside (Scotland) Act 1967 permits SNH to offer management agreements out with SSSIs. In most instances, owners would be encouraged to seek Forestry Commission grants instead. However, discretionary financial help may be available for specific management tasks in some areas, subject to availability of funds. Management agreements can also be offered for Areas of Special Scientific Interest in Northern Ireland by the Environment and Heritage Service. Further information: see entry for the relevant organisation (Sections 2.2 to 2.5).

2.6 Environmental Action Fund

The Environmental Action Fund (EAF) helps voluntary groups in England promote sustainable development through projects on the understanding and awareness of sustainable development, and biodiversity. Groups must find eligible matching funding and ensure that the projects have well defined objectives, measurable outcomes and clear timescales. In April 2002, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced 83 EAF grants totalling over £4 million for the year to support projects benefiting urban and rural communities across England. Details can be found on the DEFRA website at: www.defra/environment/eaf/index.htm

2.7 Sports Councils

Sports Councils may provide grants to organisations towards the costs of developing facilities, organising or publicising major international events, encouraging participation and improving performance, in all sports. Councils in each country have their own criteria and priorities. The Lottery Sports Fund is administered separately (see Section 2.14). Grants are directed to the support of sport and recreation, not the planting or care of trees. However, woods and forests are particularly suitable for some sports and recreations, such as orienteering, cyclo-cross, mountain biking and rambling. Further information:

2.8 National Parks

Some National Park Authorities have their own grant schemes - often designed to fill gaps in the national statutory grant schemes - but available funds are often small. Much of the National Parks in England falls within the ESA Scheme (see Section 1.4), so landowners are often directed to that source of funding. The National Park officers can give advice on funding within their areas. In some National Parks, free plants or materials are offered in lieu of cash or staff may undertake some of the work. Even if funds are limited, free advice may be available. Further information:

2.9 UK National Lottery

Good causes supported from lottery funding have included woodlands and local conservation groups. Schemes must be for public good rather than private gain. They usually involve some partnership funding, in kind or in cash, although this is not always the case. Funds are allocated through the distributing bodies, listed below, and intending applicants should first make contact with the one which seems most appropriate. The Heritage Lottery fund can help groups and organisations of all sizes with projects that aim to conserve and enhance our diverse heritage; encourage more people to be involved in their heritage; and make sure that everyone can learn about, have access to and enjoy their heritage. Countryside and nature conservation projects include public parks and gardens. The New Opportunities Fund gives grants to health, education and environmental projects. The policies of the lottery distribution boards undergo continual review and revision. Contact individual boards for up-to-date information. Further information:

2.10 National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF)

The National Heritage Memorial Fund can provide grants to organisations based in the United Kingdom. Mainly so they can buy items of outstanding interest and of importance to the national heritage. These must either be at risk or have a memorial character. NHMF also administers the Heritage Lottery Fund. (Information correct as at August 2004 - updated requested.) Further information: National Heritage Memorial Fund:

2.11 Local Authorities

With small and local projects, it may be worth approaching the Parish Council and Rural Community Council, although the funds of both are likely to be very limited. With larger and ongoing projects, application can be made to District or Borough Council and the County Council or Unitary Authority (in Scotland, simply the Council).


Much funding and advice is now administered through regional initiatives, such as the Community Forests. This targets resources to areas of the greatest need. These initiatives are mainly run as partnerships, which include government agencies and local authorities. Some have access to Forestry Commission grants. Others have access to EU grants, local authority funding or business finance/sponsorship.

3.1 The National Forest

The National Forest, devised by the then Countryside Commission and announced in 1990, links the ancient forests of Needwood and Charnwood and spans 200 square miles across three counties in the English midlands - Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire. The National Forest Company was set up in 1995 to create The National Forest. Central to its work are its partnerships with local authorities, farmers, landowners, companies, local communities and people all over Britain. It has its own specialists to generate further funds, investment opportunities and, together with other partners, has made successful bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Millennium Commission. The National Forest is seen in a regional context as a major attractor of funds and has already generated more than £34 million of inward investment. In 1995, the National Forest Company launched the National Forest Tender Scheme jointly with the Forestry Commission. Over the first ten years of its operation, the Tender Scheme had secured 2,998 ha, the majority for woodland creation. Many of the schemes submitted have been from farmers but winning schemes have also come from local authorities, businesses, charities and private investors. Further information: Hugh V. Williams, Incentives and Land Management Officer, The National Forest Company, Enterprise Glade, Bath Lane, Moira, Swadlincote, Derbys DE12 6BD. Tel 01283 551211. Fax 01283 552844. E-mail: Website:

3.2 Community Forests

The 12 Community Forests are all located in and around densely built-up areas. They were initiated by the Countryside Commission (now the Countryside Agency) and the Forestry Commission but the programme has now developed into a much wider partnership, involving local authorities, groups from the private and voluntary sectors, and community support. Since the initiative started in 1991, over 7,000 ha of woodland has been planted. As economic regeneration as well as environmental improvement is a key objective, many schemes qualify for non-forestry related funding. There is a Woodland Grant Scheme Community Forest Premium for planting in the Community Forests in England (see Section 1.1.3) and there may be additional local funding or sponsorship. To find out about local funding contact the individual forests. General information about the Community Forests is at websites: and Further information:

3.3 Other Areas with Additional Forestry Commission Planting Grants

If you are planting trees in the South West Forest or the area covered by the Sherwood Initiative in England, or the Central Scotland Forest or the Grampian Forest in Scotland, you may have access to additional Forestry Commission planting grants (see Section 1.1.3 and 1.1.5).

3.3.1 South West Forest

The South West Forest is a nationally-recognised new rural development initiative encouraging tree planting through additional Forestry Commission incentives (see Section 1.1.3). The area in which these grants are available is broadly bounded by Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor. In addition, the South West Forest offers significant training programmes and networking events throughout the year. To date, more than 2,000 ha of new woodland have been approved for planting. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested) Further information:

3.3.2 Sherwood Initiative/Sherwood Forest Trust

The Sherwood Forest Trust, aims to restore traditional local habitats and landscapes for the benefit of the public. The trust offers free advice to woodland owners and managers. It can help to find funding, labour, materials and specialist advice for anyone interested in creating or managing woodland. In some cases the Trust can directly fund woodland creation and restoration through the Heritage Lottery Funded Sherwood Initiative Area Partnership Scheme. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

3.3.3 Central Scotland Forest/Central Scotland Countryside Trust

Central Scotland Countryside Trust is an independent organisation - operating between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Lanark - which is the lead body in a partnership working together to create a new Central Scotland Forest. Woodlands are being interspersed throughout the 620 square miles of the forest to help to improve the environment generally and thus encourage new economic investment into the area. The Central Scotland Countryside Trust has a catalytic role in encouraging the general public, farmers, businesses and other bodies to participate in the initiative. It also: acts as forestry/woodland consultant/contractor; manages woodlands; advises on grant applications and conservation issues; and encourages local involvement by community groups. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

3.3.4 Grampian Forest

The aim of the Grampian Forest is to establish new well-designed productive woodlands, which will enable diversification of rural land use and guarantee wood supplies to the existing forest industry for the future. It had an initial target to establish 1,5000 ha of new woodland over its three-year period. It surpassed this in only its second year and by its third year had established 2,143 ha. The main incentive to this planting is the Grampian Forest Challenge Fund (see Section 1.1.5). The target area for the Challenge Fund lies to the north and east of the A96 Aberdeen-Inverness road, with the Keith-Cullen road as the western boundary. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

3.4 Other Regional Woodland Projects

There are numerous local woodland initiatives with diverse functions and variable statuses, and sometimes with a limited life. The following are examples only and aim to show the range of types of project which exist. Contact your local Forestry Commission Conservancy Office (Section 1.2 for headquarter's address) to find out if such an initiative operates in your area. Some have their own grant schemes to support, for example, planting, timber utilisation or training. Many of the initiatives listed are targeted at small or native woods. A useful list of regional initiatives is given in the Small Woods Association's Woodland Initiatives Register. Further information:

3.4.1 Anglian Woodland Project

This project is a joint initiative between the county councils of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. It aims to increase the amount of positive woodland management taking place in small neglected woodlands throughout the region. Further information: (website being redesigned)

3.4.2 Chiltern Woodlands Project

The Chiltern Woodlands Project is a non-profit making company and registered charity. It offers free initial advice to owners of small woods in the Chilterns; much of the area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The project makes a charge for work such as preparation of Woodland Grant Scheme applications. It organises meetings and events, and publishes a newsletter twice a year. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

3.4.3 Coed Cymru

Coed Cymru is a non-profit making charity set up to protect and enhance Welsh broadleaved woodlands. It provides free help and advice, including sources of grant aid, to owners of neglected woodlands and hardwood growers and users in Wales. Further information:

3.4.4 Coed Meirion

This project is involved with new enterprises in the wood industry in south Gwynedd. It aims to increase income and value to the industry and promotes diversification in the rural economy. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

3.4.5 Cumbria Woodlands

This partnership between several Cumbrian organisations. It offers free advice on all aspects of woodland management and establishment. The help available includes technical advice, help with finding appropriate contractors, marketing timber and obtaining grant aid for projects. Cumbria Woodlands runs a Forest Futures Programme that gives funding to woodland projects for small community tree planting schemes. Further information:

3.4.6 Deeside Forest

The Deeside Forest (in Upper Deeside), along with its companion Forest of Spey (in the central section of Badenoch and Strathspey), occupy 5% of the land area of Scotland yet contain 25% of the present native woodland area in Scotland. The objective of both forest initiatives is to build on, and expand, the existing areas of native woodland - resulting in two extensive and distinctive forests. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

3.4.7 Edinburgh Green Belt Trust

The Edinburgh Green Belt Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee which works within the area which is designated as green belt around Edinburgh. The trust tackles a broad range of environmental work, including advising farmers, community groups and landowners on the planting of trees and shrubs and also woodland management. In addition to providing advice, the trust may also be able to help with securing grants or funding available from other sources. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

3.4.8 Forest of Belfast Initiative

The Forest of Belfast Initiative is a partnership of more than 20 organisations concerned with developing urban forestry in Greater Belfast. The initiative increases public awareness of the value of trees, encourages higher levels of tree planting and tree care, and actively promotes community involvement. The project involves statutory and volunteer bodies and volunteer Tree Wardens. Community tree planting projects are supported and free trees are provided for many local groups in Greater Belfast. Further information:

3.4.9 Forest of Cardiff

This project, a registered environmental charity, plants and manages trees to improve the urban forest and environment. It works with all sections of the community, providing trees, advice, training and assistance with tree planting and maintenance and other environmental schemes. Advice on grants, sponsorship and fund raising is also available. Further information:

3.4.10 Forest of Spey

See Deeside Forest (Section 3.4.6). Further information:

3.4.11 Grampian Woodlands Project

The project aims to deliver economic, social and environmental benefit through the promotion and support of multi-objective management of the existing woodland resource. It encourages the active management of north-east Scotland's woodlands, including its mature broadleaf shelterbelts, through the provision of advice and by acting as a contact network for producers and users of timber and woodland products. It supports existing markets which add value to locally-produced timber and helps to develop new market opportunities as a way of encouraging farm diversification. Further information:

3.4.12 Lincwoods

This project aims to expand and improve the sustainable management of woodlands in the Lincolnshire Objective 5b area. An integrated programme of advice, support and training is offered by the project, which is managed by ADAS Consulting. ADAS also secured Lincwoods' funding. Professional woodland management advice is fully subsidised by the project and training in crafts, management and technical skills related to woodlands or timber is subsidised by two-thirds. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

3.4.13 North Highland Forest Trust

The North Highland Forest Trust seeks to engender a woodland culture among the inhabitants of the project area, which will lead to higher values being placed on the existing and potential woodland resource. Services are offered over the whole of Caithness and Sutherland and the coastal communities of Wester Ross as far south as Aultbea. These include: site surveys to establish a resource audit, advice on 'adding value', assistance in securing funding to realise the proposals and providing help in finding appropriate markets for woodland produce. The main user groups are crofters and common grazing committees. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:


NORTHWOODS is a partnership of public and private organisations that work together to support woodland, forestry and arboricultural businesses across the North East. We provide training, advice, information and support so wherever you work along the wood supply chain - a tree nursery, harvesting contractor, arborist, cabinetmaker or wood fuel supplier, Northwoods can help your business become more profitable, safer and better trained. Further information: Contact Northwoods, to find out more about our business development service; training courses/one-off events; grants and financial support advice.

3.4.15 Oxfordshire Woodland Project

This project, which was established in 1991, continues today with local authority and charitable trust funding. It provides free and impartial help and assistance to the owners of Oxfordshire's small woods. Services provided include woodland advisory visits, training sessions and demonstrations. Grants and felling licences are arranged for clients in appropriate cases, and information is published on a wide range of forestry and woodland management topics. The project facilitates the marketing of woodland services through the maintenance of a local coppice register and contractors' directory. The project works towards improving the marketability of small woodland produce through the pursuit of timber quality and engagement in marketing infrastructure planning. Also based at the same address is the Oxfordshire Woodland Group, founded in 1987 to promote the appropriate and sympathetic management of small woods in Oxfordshire. Further information:

3.4.16 Silvanus Trust

The Silvanus Trust exists to develop viable and sustainable management of small woodlands in the South-West (Devon, Cornwall and Somerset) for the benefit of local communities, the beauty of the landscape and wildlife. It runs a series of individual but coordinated initiatives, which cover rural regeneration, business support, training and education and community involvement aspects of woodland management. Locally based trainees in the Tamar Valley can help with community tree planting while some funding is available via the Western Power Distribution and tree planting scheme. The Trust is currently close to completing a major initiative to gain grant aid to re-open a local sawmill. Former trading subsidiary, Silvanus Services effected a management buyout in November 2004. Further information:

3.4.17 Wessex Coppice Group

The Wessex Coppice Group focuses on hazel coppice rather than a geographical area. It has a national database of coppice workers, if owners wish to find local workers. There are events for woodland owners, usually in partnership with other organisations. The Wessex Coppice Group also has a number of reports on hazel coppice for woodland owners. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

3.4.18 Working Woodlands

An Objective One umbrella project offering grant aid and business development support. This package is designed to help the businesses comprising the forestry and timber processing industry in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly in their pursuit of increased profitable sales from forestry products derived from timber grown sustainably in the far south west. Working Woodlands is managed jointly by Bow Maurice Limited and The Silvanus Trust. Further information: Caroline Harrison, Working Woodlands, Barton Farmhouse, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ6 6ED. Tel 01803 867891. Fax 01803 868188. E-mail:


YORWOODS is a partnership of various organisations which have come together to promote woodland management and planting in rural North and East Yorkshire. It aims to assist in the economic diversification of the area by providing advice and facilitation for woodland planting and management, including training, marketing and business support. YORWOODS are currently managing the Forestry Commission local pilot scheme for the certification and management planning of woodlands in North Yorkshire. Information, advice and guidance is available from the dedicated project manager and we can also assist in accessing grants which are available to help finance woodland owners through the certification and management planning system. Current grant rates available to woodland owners in North Yorkshire under this scheme are as follows: Certification - all are one off payments; Woodlands under 10ha - £150; 10ha-29ha - £300; 30ha-99ha - £450 and over 100ha - £600. Management planning: £300 minimum payment and £10 per ha up to 100ha and £5 per ha thereafter. Further information:

3.4.20 Countryside Management Service

The CMS works across Hertfordshire and Barnet advising and assisting landowners, farmers and communities on work to improve the natural beauty of the countryside and the diversity and health of its wildlife. The CMS offer funding through Herts CC Conservation Grants Programme and management advice to farmers, landowners and others on environmental projects including woodland management. The CMS also has some access to other local authority grant aid schemes. It is also now responsible for much of the delivery of land management services for the Watling Chase Community Forest and is able to support projects within this area. Further information:


The first three trusts in this section are obviously concerned with trees; some of the others, apparently less so. However, trees help to improve living conditions in both town and country, and thus trees could well form part of imaginative projects eligible for grant aid from all of these trusts and perhaps many others as well.

4.1 Tree Council

From time to time, limited funds are available to help schools and local community groups to undertake small, well-planned tree projects during National Tree Week in November/December. Eligible costs include trees, labour for planting and any supports and aids to establishment. Further information: Visit the Tree Council's website: and click on 'Tree Grants'. Alternatively contact The Tree Council, 71 Newcomen Street, London SE1 1YT. Tel 020-7407 9992. Fax 020-7407 9908. E-mail:

4.2 Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust is the UK's leading woodland conservation charity. It is committed to: no further loss of ancient woodland; restoring and improving the biodiversity of woods; increasing new native woodland; and increasing people's awareness and enjoyment of woodland. The Woodland Trust, which was established in 1972, now has more than 1,100 sites in its care covering about 20,000 ha. It offers free public access to nearly all of its sites. Further information: The Woodland Trust, Autumn Park, Dysart Rd, Grantham, Lincs NG31 6LL. Tel 01476 581111. Fax 01476 590808. E-mail: Website:

4.3 Scottish Forestry Trust

The Scottish Forestry Trust was created to promote research, education and training in forestry. 'Forestry' is defined as the forestry industry as a whole to include the growing, marketing and processing of home-grown timber, and forestry's contribution to landscape, recreation, wildlife and the environment. Education is interpreted to include educating the public about forestry. A small proportion of the budget is set aside for publications and travel. The trust has a GB-wide remit as it does not confine its activities to Scotland. Grants are made to organisations or individuals both within and outside forestry, as well as jointly with other funding bodies. Further information:

4.4 Other Grant-Making Trusts and Charities

The agencies listed above in this section are among those with a clear woodland or environmental interest. However, there are thousands of trusts and charities allocating funds for various purposes. Some have particular concern for a certain locality, age group, activity, need or problem, and trees may form a - perhaps small - part of their interest. A few are listed here.

4.4.1 National Playing Fields Association

The National Playing Fields Association produces publications and gives advice on protecting and improving play, sport and recreation areas. Interests could include trees for hedges or windbreaks. Grants are currently directed to NPFA protected locations. Further information:

4.4.2 Ethnic Minorities Award Scheme

A small fund is available for innovative projects in multi-cultural environmentalism which fall outside the criteria of existing funders. Further information: Black Environment Network - E-mail: Website:

4.4.3 Prince's Trust - Cymru

The work of the former Prince's Trust-Bro has been absorbed into the Prince's Trust - Cymru. Tree planting grants may be available for community groups. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

4.5 Information Sources on Trusts and Charities

The following publications give guidance about trusts' interests and how to apply (the first is free, public or reference libraries may hold the others): Interactive, from Shell Better Britain Campaign (see Section 5.2 for address); A Guide to the Major Trusts The Environmental Funding Guide produced by the Directory of Social Change The Directory of Grant Making Trusts published by the Charities Aid Foundation and also available from the Directory of Social Change (see Section 5.8 for address). (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) The Directory of Social Change also publishes regional guides to trusts in England. Similar publications are available from:

4.6 Finding Volunteer Labour

One possible means of reducing costs, but without actually receiving cash, is to use volunteer labour. Volunteers do not come free but they may be well worth considering, especially for smaller schemes where commercial contractors' costs are often disproportionately high per unit area. The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers specialises in mobilising volunteers (for standard charges) in conservation projects in England and Wales, in Northern Ireland (operating as Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland) and in Scotland (BTCV Scotland). BTCV is the UK's largest practical conservation charity, annually involving 130,000 volunteers in projects to protect and enhance the environment. Advice and assistance may also be available, as these organisations are involved in the Tree Council's Tree Warden Scheme. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

4.7 Machinery Rings

Using a local agricultural machinery ring can be one way of getting affordable access to equipment which you use only occasionally or to contractors. Machinery rings are a group of farmers who cooperate on their use of machinery. English Nature publishes a useful Machinery Rings Information Pack. The 4th edition of this Pack was produced in August 2001. The FACT partners are currently developing an additional service to improve the availability of specialist nature conservation and wildlife management machines. Phase 2 of a pilot 'conservation machinery ring' to set up a specialist website (to be called 'contak' - conservation tackle) will be rolled out UK wide in 2005 if successful as a pilot. Close links are being maintained with the agricultural rings through SASTAK as one of the developing contractors. Close links are also ensured with our other free advertising service which accepts any adverts for the 'sustainable management of land trees and wildlife'. Further information: Enquiry Service, English Nature, Northminster House, Peterborough PE1 1UA. Tel 01733 455100. E-mail: To find out whether an agricultural machinery ring operates in your area, contact: Machinery Rings Association of England and Wales, Agriculture House, Stanton Harcourt Rd, Eynsham, Witney, Oxon OX8 1TW. Tel 01865 887800. Fax 01865 887830. Scottish machinery rings are listed in the English Nature publication.


Some schemes are financed by industry, and some by partnerships between industries, charities and government. They are often flexible, to encourage fresh thinking and innovative ideas, and several have either already promoted some aspect of trees or could well do so, directly or indirectly. The most striking example is the Shell Better Britain Campaign, where trees have featured in more than over half of the environmental projects which have been grant aided. With many of the projects funded by such schemes, tree planting forms just part of a much wider programme of work. Applicants need to consult carefully the full information provided by the schemes listed, to find out if the work you want funded can be tailored to their objectives.

5.1 The Conservation Foundation

As one of its many environmental activities, this foundation in association with commercial and environmental organisations has created award schemes, some of which have relevance to trees. Two of those currently on offer seem particularly relevant. In addition, the Conservation Foundation is running a Yews for the Millennium project, to provide every parish in the country with a young tree propagated from an ancient yew. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

5.1.1 Henry Ford European Conservation Awards

Projects may be entered in this annual competitive award scheme. There are four categories: natural environment (which could include woodland management schemes); young peoples' projects; heritage; and conservation engineering. Entries are invited from individuals, community groups and organisations involved in almost any kind of conservation project which addresses a real conservation need, especially those showing originality and which could be implemented on a European scale. Winning projects in the past have included the establishment of a fruit tree arboretum, work on Dutch elm disease, city hedgerows and regeneration of Caledonian pinewoods. Further information:

5.1.2 Wessex Watermark

This scheme helps finance environmental projects by community, youth and environmental groups in the Wessex Water region - Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon and Dorset. The awards are available for any project, however large or small, which is designed to directly benefit the environment. Although not mentioned specifically, trees tend to feature prominently in such environmental work. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

5.2 Shell Better Britain Campaign

The campaign encourages local people to take action to improve the quality of life at neighbourhood level. Grants are available but the campaign can also provide a network of free advice from its national knowledge of environmental support groups. It also has an informative quarterly magazine, Interactive. To be eligible for grant aid: a project must aim to improve the quality of life in the locality; it must be locally organised and aim to draw the local community closer together; and it should make direct links with broad environmental issues. The campaign is not targeted specifically to trees. However, well over half of the awards have involved trees in some way. A few have actually involved woodlands or hedgerows directly but very many more have included tree planting as part of their contribution to environmental improvement. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

5.3 CWS Community Dividend Scheme (Co-Op)

This scheme awards grants of £100 to £5,000 to voluntary, self-help, cooperative and not-for-profit groups which are carrying out projects which will benefit the community. Environmental projects are one of the areas which have received funding. The scheme, which has replaced the Co-op Care Grants Scheme, operates only in the regions where CWS trades: Northern Ireland, Scotland, South Midlands, Cumbria, South-East England, North-East England and Nottingham. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

5.4 Forward Scotland

Formed in 1996, Forward Scotland is an independent company with charitable status which receives development funding from the Scottish Executive to help build a more sustainable Scotland. We manage funds from a range of public and private sources to support practical projects that will improve the quality of life for Scotland's communities and contribute to sustainable development. Further information:

5.5 Groundwork

Groundwork is a federation of nearly 50 local Trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, each working with their partners in poor areas to improve the quality of the local environment, the lives of local people and the success of local businesses. Further information:

5.6 The Greenbelt Group of Companies

The Greenbelt Group of Companies is offering a variety of packages, from design and sourcing of funding through to long-term ownership of derelict and vacant land in urban areas. There are offices throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

5.7 Landfill Tax Credit Scheme

The landfill tax credit scheme (LTCS) enables landfill site operators to donate part of their annual landfill tax liability to environmental bodies enrolled with the scheme's regulator, ENTRUST, in return for a 90 per cent tax credit. These bodies undertake a wide range of environmental projects across a number of objects defined in the landfill tax regulations. One of these objects, object d, includes the provision and maintenance of public parks and amenities which may include the planting or care of trees. Support for trees may also be included in projects under other objects. Those seeking money through LTCS can enrol as environmental bodies and approach landfill operators directly, but may find it beneficial to contact a selection of distributive environmental bodies, of which there are a great many, first. Further details and a directory of distributive environmental bodies can be found at (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

5.8 Local Sponsorship

In addition to sponsorship projects on a national scale, local firms or local branches of national companies may be willing to give help for specific projects (which could involve trees), either through sponsorship or by giving a direct grant. Some firms do not want recognition for their donation; others require their company name and logo to be added to the project group's publicity material. Two approaches are possible: groups may contact potential sponsors direct and some organisations help to arrange sponsorship. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information: Information may be found in numerous publications from: The Directory of Social Change - These paid publications include:

  1. The Environmental Funding Guide
  2. The Guide to UK Company Giving
  3. Finding Company Sponsors for Local Causes.

In addition to titles which outline company sponsorship, there are many books detailing the funding to be had through trusts, such as those noted in Section 4.5, and government departments, such as The Guide to Funding from Government Departments and Agencies. Organisations which help to arrange sponsorship include the Groundwork Trusts and the Central Scotland Countryside Trust (see Sections 5.6 and 3.3.3).


For commercial forestry, loans may bridge a gap between early outgoings and later income. Several institutions provide special loan schemes for forestry, and many others may consider applications for forestry loans as part of their agricultural service. Some of these are below.

6.1 Agricultural Mortgage Corporation

AMC lends money for agriculture in England, Scotland and Wales. Its forestry loans are designed to assist the purchase of commercial woodland as well as investment in forestry operations by existing owners. This can cover the cost of replanting and ancillary investment such as fencing, drainage and access roads. Further information: Agricultural Mortgage Corporation plc, AMC House, Chantry St, Andover, Hants SP10 1DD. Tel 01264 334747. Fax 01264 334614. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Website:

6.2 Barclays Scotland in Association with Bell Ingram Rural (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.)

Further information:

6.3 Royal Bank of Scotland in Association with Fountain Forestry

The Royal Bank offers a loan scheme in conjunction with Fountain Forestry, each loan being separately negotiated. Further information:

6.4 Bank of Scotland in Association with Scottish Woodlands

The Bank of Scotland has a forestry loan scheme for the purchase of land for planting, or of existing woodlands, or to finance the cost of development. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

6.5 Clydesdale Bank in Association with Scottish Woodlands

Clydesdale offers a flexible finance scheme to assist woodland owners buy more land, or use existing woodland to finance other business interests. The scheme is also available to forestry companies, forestry trusts, overseas investors and farmers planting up part of their land. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

6.6 The Ecology Building Society

The savings deposited in the Ecology Building Society are used to grant mortgages for the rescue and renovation of run-down and derelict houses, on new and existing individually-constructed timber houses and to support organic farming, tree nurseries and small woodlands. Mortgages are available across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Further information:

6.7 Other Banks

Other banks are often willing to consider financing forestry propositions, perhaps as part of their existing agricultural services. Further information: local bank brbranch managers.


All the loans in Section 6 were for the purchase of land and the growing of trees but loans or other forms of assistance are also available for harvesting, marketing or processing timber or other products from the forest. The major banks may be willing to consider loans for such purposes, as with any other investment, and enquiries should be as indicated in Section 6, or to local bank branch managers.

7.1 Development Agencies

These agencies are government bodies promoting development and employment generation, often in the needier zones of Britain, including rural areas. They may be approached for development funding (by grant or loan) or for advice, but the modus operandi differs in each country. In Scotland there are regional Local Enterprise Companies concerned with economic development and training requirements. In Wales, there has been strong emphasis on Welsh wood, with encouragement offered in all aspects of tree planting and growing as well as timber marketing and utilisation. The WDA also promotes large strategic schemes in Land Reclamation and Environmental Improvement, working with Local Authorities and the private sector. The RDC exists to address the needs of disadvantaged rural communities in Northern Ireland. Its principal activity is the delivery of support services and administration of grant aid to groups and collectives undertaking local regeneration projects and programmes. Regional Development Agencies focus on economic development as a means of promoting regional growth and addressing regeneration. Further information: England: Gill Caves, Head of RDA Secretariat, RDA National Secretariat, c/o Advantage West Midlands, 3 Priestley Wharf, Holt Street, Aston Science Park, Birmingham, B7 4BN. Tel 0121 380 3545. E-mail: Website: Scotland: Or: Highlands and Islands Enterprise - Wales: Welsh Development Agency - Northern Ireland: Rural Development Council -

7.2 England Rural Development Programme

Separate Rural Development Programmes for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will offer a range of EU-supported grants, including some for business and marketing.

7.2.1 Rural Enterprise Scheme

The Rural Enterprise Scheme is one of the new schemes launched as part of the ERDP on 3 October 2000. It provides assistance for projects which help to develop more sustainable, diversified and enterprising rural economies and communities. Its coverage is wide ranging but the primary aim is to help farmers adapt to changing markets and develop new business opportunities. The RES also has a broader role in supporting the adaptation and development of the rural economy, community, heritage and environment. Of particular interest to the forestry sector is likely to be the measure covering 'encouragement for tourist and craft activities'. Eligible actions covered include: rural tourism - development of increased permissive access for the pubic enjoyment of the countryside, such as woodland walks, cycle paths and picnic areas. craft activities - facilities for wood-based crafts and their exhibition; development and promotion of rural artisan crafts, such as hurdle making, fencing and besoms. The scheme is regionally delivered with applications being considered on a competitive basis. Applications go through a technical assessment process before being submitted to a Regional Appraisal Panel which makes the final decision on whether projects should be approved for funding. The amount of funding available for individual projects will depend on the anticipated economic return for the applicant. Generally, where an economic return is the primary objective, the rate of aid will be 30-50%. However, there is scope for less-commercial ventures with social and environmental objectives for which funding of 50-100% is available. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information: local DEFRA offices (see end of Section 1.9).

7.2.2 Vocational Training Scheme

The Vocational Training Scheme provides funding for training which contributes to the improvement of the occupational skill and competence of farmers and others involved in forestry and farming activities and their diversification. Examples of training categories are: IT; business skills; marketing; conservation and environmental skills; diversification; resource management; personal development for managers and staff; looking at new ways of working; technical skills in agriculture, horticulture and forestry; and on-farm food production and processing skills. To be eligible for funding the beneficiaries of the training must be: farmers and growers (full or part-time); other people involved in agricultural and horticultural activities; persons involved in forestry activities; or persons involved in the conversion of farming (including horticultural and forestry activities). Applications are assessed against national criteria, to ensure that they are of an appropriate quality, and against regionally-set priorities. Projects which involve less than a total of 20 days of training will not normally be considered. Funding is restricted to 75% of eligible costs. Some activities are not eligible for aid, for example, full-time courses of education and training provided through secondary schools, further education colleges and higher education establishments. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information: local DEFRA offices (see end of Section 1.9).

7.3 Forestry Commission Marketing Assistance

The Forestry Commission has established a key role in partnership with many local marketing initiatives. This is delivered through the network of regional woodland initiatives (see Section 3.4). Investment in new wood processing activities has been secured by the Forestry Commission agreeing long-term timber supply contracts. Further information: Forestry Commission, 231 Corstorphine Rd, Edinburgh EH12 7AT. Tel 0131-334 0303. Fax 0131-334 3047. Or, in England: Andy Mason, Market Development Officer, Forestry Commission, Great Eastern House, Tenison Rd, Cambridge CB1 2DU. Tel 01223 314546. Fax 01223 460699. Beacon Forestry administers Eco-Lots, an "Exchange & Mart" style "magazine", catering for a wide range of environmental products and services. It is at Woodlots is a similar forestry focused publication, free to practitioners in S.E. England. Visit

7.4 Forestry & Timber Association

FTA engages with government and non-government organisations to represent members' interests through political lobbying and technical representation. Members include: woodland owners, forest management companies, forest managers and contractors, suppliers of goods and equipment, students and associates. Membership is open to anyone engaged or interested in forestry, woodlands or trees, whether for commercial, amenity or other reasons. Benefits include: information through the quarterly Forestry & Timber News, regional newsletters, regional and HQ staff, conferences, seminars, field meetings and the website; chemical, legal and taxation helplines; biennial exhibition and South-west Woodland Show; access to Education and Provident Fund; and professional status. Further information:


This section outlines the most important taxation reliefs available to those engaged in forestry on their land. The general provisions may be stated fairly briefly, but the application of these taxes and reliefs, in individual circumstances, can be complex and liable to periodic changes in detail. Any owner or tenant claiming tax relief on woodlands should consult their accountant or taxation specialist.

8.1 Income and Corporation Tax

The taxation of occupation of, and profits arising from, commercial forestry were abolished in 1988. As such, forestry income (including grants) is not chargeable to income or corporation tax, but neither forestry expenditure nor interest on associated borrowings is tax deductible.

8.2 Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains tax (calculated at income or corporation tax rates) is chargeable on gains arising from the disposal of forestry land, but not on any timber growing on it. Felled trees are treated as chattels and, therefore, are only liable to capital gains tax if sold for more than £6,000 each. Gains arising from gifts of commercial forestry may normally be held over, whilst gains on sales may be rolled over into acquisition of commercial forestry land and certain other qualifying trading assets, or vice versa. For companies, the deduction for the cost of the land can be increased by indexation relief between the dates of acquisition and disposal. For others, the indexation relief is only calculated up to April 1998, and the capital gain then further reduced by taper relief. Business asset taper relief on in-hand commercial forestry is applied to the gain after reduction for available losses. It is available after the first compete year of ownership after 5 April 1998 at a rate of 12.5% and increases annually thereafter (to 25%, 50% and 75%) reaching the maximum after four years' ownership. Let commercial forestry land may attract business asset taper relief where the property is occupied by a company. Otherwise, taper relief is restricted to an annual 5% for each complete year of ownership after 5 April 1998 - maximum 40% - but excluding the first three years (or two years where the property was acquired before 17 March 1998). Taper relief calculations may be complex where there has been mixed use in the 10 years (falling after 5 April 1998) prior to disposal.

8.3 Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax is chargeable on property included within a person's estate on death and in respect of gifts made within the prior seven years. For gifts made more than three years prior to death, a tapering relief applies to the tax chargeable. Woodlands may be eligible for important reliefs in some circumstances. First, commercial woodlands owned for more than two years prior to a gift, or death, may qualify for Business Property Relief. Other woodlands similarly owned and which are ancillary to agriculture may qualify for Agricultural Property Relief. These reliefs are currently at a rate of 100% and, therefore, avoid the tax. Second, for all woodlands owned for at least five years prior to death, the value of the growing trees may be left out of account. Instead, tax is charged on the future net proceeds of the timber, but deduction against the proceeds can be claimed for costs of replanting within three years of sale. If the new owner dies, before the timber is all sold, then the original charge on the remaining trees will have been avoided. However, claim for Business Property Relief or Agricultural Property Relief must be preferable to this deferment of charge. Third, woodlands may qualify for exemption if considered to be of outstanding scenic, historic or scientific interest. This may be of particular relevance to woodlands of high amenity or wildlife conservation value, particularly ancient and semi-natural woodlands. Where such exemption is granted, undertakings have to be given, and observed, to preserve and maintain, and provide public access to, the property.

8.4 Value Added Tax

Those registered for value added tax must charge VAT on all timber sales. A lower rate (5%) is chargeable for wood sold to the public for domestic fuel use, but the standard rate is chargeable on sales to wholesalers. Forestry owners, with no immediate prospect of timber sales, may register for VAT on an 'intending trader' basis. This enables recovery of VAT incurred on establishment and maintenance costs, and professional fees in connection with the acquisition of the woodlands. Unless the owner opts for VAT to be charged on sale, the land element of the woodlands is exempt. However, steps may be taken to treat the sale as a transfer of a going concern. This avoids the necessity to account for VAT and can affect the overall VAT recovery for the partially-exempt owner. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) The specialist information given above was kindly provided by Mike Lichten FCA (Tax Partner) of Saffery Champness (Chartered Accountants), Fairfax House, Fulwood Place, Gray's Inn, London WC1V 6UB. Tel 020-7405 2828. Fax 020-7405 7887. E-mail:


Those who plant trees or look after woods may need more than just financial help. This section lists potential sources of technical advice, from the free to the fully commercial, plus some other sources of help not covered in previous sections.

9.1 Advice Through Grant Schemes

All the statutory grant-giving agencies listed in Sections 1 and 2 will give advice in connection with their grants; they often also produce helpful publications, priced or free. Many other granting bodies make a point of offering advice, usually free, especially to voluntary or community groups. One of the objectives of all the regional initiatives listed in Section 3 is to offer advice. A number of other organisations mentioned in previous sections may provide free advice to anyone, not merely those who obtain grants, although such advice is not necessarily given by qualified foresters or arboriculturalists. For example: BTCV (Section 4.6); Groundwork Trusts (5.5); Shell Better Britain Campaign (5.2); Tree Council (4.1); and Woodland Trust (4.2).

9.2 Professional Consultants and Contractors

Many professionals make a living from giving advice about forestry, woods or trees. They may be general practitioners or specialists; they may be independent or employed by a larger company; and they may be advisory only or also provide management and contracting services. Registered consultants (qualified and with professional indemnity insurance):

9.3 Royal Forestry Societies

Advice, or guidance about where it may be obtained, may also be given by: Royal Forestry Society, 102 High St, Tring, Herts HP23 4AF. Tel 01442 822028. Fax 01442 890395. E-mail: Website: Royal Scottish Forestry Society, Hagg-on-Esk, Canonbie, Dumfriesshire DG14 0XE. Tel 01387 371518. Fax 01387 371418. E-mail: Website:

9.4 Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group

FWAG is the UK's only dedicated supplier of independent environmental and conservation advice in a farm business context. We offer practical solutions that fit in with farming systems and cover all aspects of conservation, agri-environment schemes, resource and access land management. Further information: Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh, Kenilworth, Warwicks CV8 2RX. Tel 024-7669 6699. Fax 024-7669 6760. Website:

9.5 Countryside Advice and Information Service/ADAS

This is a free advisory service available to farmers throughout Wales. The service will provide impartial environmentally-sound advice on all aspects of conservation and environmental issues. CAIS advisers will visit your land and carry out a free conservation/environmental audit which will advise on the best management practices you can carry out to benefit conservation and the environment. CAIS is a project managed by ADAS on behalf of the NAWAD. ADAS provides advice to farmers on the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (see Section 1.2). Farmers interested should contact their local ADAS office. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

9.6 Learning Through Landscapes

A useful source of information, funding advice and educational materials is Learning Through Landscapes, a charity which aims to improve the quality and educational use of school grounds. (Information correct as at August 2004 - update requested.) Further information:

9.7 Living Churchyard & Cemetery Project

Churchyards have a particular role to play in conservation because they can form islands, relatively undisturbed since the church was first built. Trees may be an important component of their conservation value. This Project, based at the Arthur Rank Centre (a collaborative unit supported by the national churches, the Royal Agricultural Society of England and the Rank Foundation) provides a range of audio-visual material plus DIY and other information materials. Further information:

9.8 National Urban Forestry Unit

The UK's National Urban Forestry Unit is a charitable organisation which works to raise awareness of the positive contribution that trees make to the quality of life in towns and cities. It champions urban and community forestry to those tackling such issues as economic regeneration, public health, leisure and recreation, land reclamation, built development, heritage and education. It is involved in a wide variety of activities, including advisory work, practical demonstration projects, conferences, workshops, study tours and publications. Further information:

9.9 Local Authorities

Advice may also be available, particularly for volunteer or community groups, from local authorities at district, county or regional level. Many authorities employ forestry officers, arboriculturalists or tree preservation officers, or others, such as ecologists, who may be knowledgeable about trees. Such expertise may be found in various departments but the most likely are parks, leisure and recreation, and planning. Some local authorities run small-scale grant schemes to help with the costs of tree planting (see Section 2.16). Contact your local officer for information.

9.10 Wildlife Trusts

County Wildlife Trusts and Urban Wildlife Groups may also be a source of advice, particularly on conservation aspects of trees and woods. Further information:

9.11 TECs/LECs and Business Links/Connects

Business Links in England are run by local partnerships of Training and Enterprise Councils, Chambers of Commerce, Enterprise Agencies, local authorities, the DTI and other providers of business support. Among other things, staff can advise on what local and regional grants and other forms of financial assistance are available. They are not directed specifically to trees but may be helpful to enterprises for which trees or timber form part of the business. Many of the services are wholly or partly free. Business Connects in Wales run on a similar basis. They offer business advice and support. The Business Connect network was created especially for people who run, or wish to start, a business within Wales. In Scotland, support is offered through Business Shops and Local Enterprise Councils. Further information: Yellow Pages under 'Business Enterprise Agencies'.

9.12 Eco-Lots

A free on-line advertising service, Eco-Lots, forms a marketplace for those wanting to buy or sell services and products to help the sustainable management of land, trees and wildlife. Completely free to advertiser and viewer. Adverts categorised by type (sawn timber, round timber, wood fuel, etc) and by region. Bi-monthly paper version also available as free download. Further information:

9.13 Other Useful Organisations

There are a number of other organisations not previously listed in this directory which can be a source of useful information, although sometimes to their members only.