New woodland creation funding scheme in Wales

12 August 2020

A funding package to stimulate woodland creation in Wales in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic has been welcomed by Confor.

The £1.55 million Forestry Industry Recovery Scheme has opened to applications from enterprises involved in the sustainable harvesting of trees in and/or the growing of trees.

The scheme aims  to help increase capacity in the forestry sector to plant more trees and contribute to a green recovery from the pandemic.

Anthony Geddes, Confor’s National Manager for Wales, welcomed the news as the latest in a series of announcements showing a renewed commitment to the forestry and wood processing industry in Wales.

He said: “Confor welcomes the Welsh Government’s investment in the forestry sector to support businesses recovering from the pandemic. These funds offer the opportunity to build resilience in the industry and secure future forestry projects. 

“This fund and the ongoing commitment to increase woodland creation in Wales is essential to achieving planting and climate change mitigation targets.” 

“The timely processing of Glastir Woodland Creation applications is the most significant tool that Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales possess to deliver these.”

The Forestry Industry Recovery Scheme will also make funding available for:

  • ground preparation equipment;
  • equipment for tree safety works for trees affected by Ash Dieback; and
  • equipment or appropriate technology that aids the harvesting of timber which improves sustainable forest management and resilience in natural resources.

Eligible projects will be able to access a maximum single grant of 200,000 Euros.  The scheme is open for applications until 18 October 2020.

Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “I am committed to increasing the amount of woodland created in Wales. This will require the right support for tree planting from Welsh Government, but a strong and growing forestry sector in Wales will also be essential.

“While the sector has generally proved resilient during the Covid-19 crisis, I appreciate the challenging time the pandemic will have caused for many forestry contractors and businesses, including the tree nursery sector.

“Our Forestry Industry Recovery Scheme will play an important role in helping to increase the sector’s capacity to plant more trees and is now open for applications.  This funding will enable our forestry sector to contribute to a green recovery and to the long term aims of our National Forest Programme.”