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Forest Expansion Scheme provides forestry grants to Northern Ireland landowners

The first tranche opened on Monday, June 8, and the closing date for applications is Friday, August 28.

Landowners in Northern Ireland can once again make the most of a UK government forestry grant that covers the creation of woodland of three hectares and larger.


Sports & Parks

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15 June 2020

The Forest Expansion Scheme (FES), from the UK Government Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), is the next stage of the Forests for our Future programme launched by UK Environment Minister Edwin Poots.

The FES is part of the department’s Rural Development Programme and is designed to tackle specific environmental needs, mainly relating to water quality and biodiversity.

The grant covers the creation of woodland of three hectares and larger, including tree protection, fencing costs, and retention of area based basic payments for the lifetime of the scheme.

The grant also adds to a whole suite of grants and offers that support the creation of traditional orchards, native hedgerows, and new native woodland on areas less than three hectares.

“This is an unmissable opportunity for farmers and landowners. We hope they’ll be inspired to enquire about, and make the most of, the grants on offer.”, said Gregor Fulton, Northern Ireland estate and outreach manager.

The first tranche opened on Monday, June 8, and the closing date for applications is Friday, August 28.

“The benefits of planting native trees are endless, providing winter shelter and summer shade for livestock, shelter for crops, or sustainable supplies of wood fuel. And native trees planted along riverbanks can help the environment while stopping money from, literally, going down the drain. They help by filtering the run-off of manure and fertiliser, especially following heavy rainfall.”, he said.


The Woodland Trust is committed to addressing Northern Ireland’s lack of woodland cover and offer expert advice and, in some cases, funding to help bring the beauty and benefits of native woodland to your door.

The Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods scheme is for landowners who aren’t eligible for government funding and who wish to plant more than 0.5 hectares. For those landowners, The Woodland Trust will contribute at least 60% of the costs.

In 2019, The Woodland Trust Northern Ireland supported landowners to plant in excess of 200 hectares of native woodland.

Interest party’s can contact the Trust’s woodland creation team on +44-(0)330-333-5303 or via email for impartial advice on the full range of grants available.

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