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Woodland Improvement Grant – Restructuring Regeneration

This option is open to applications during the 2014 transitional arrangements and is subject to the forestry “ongoing approval” process.

Please see FCS Briefing Note 9 about Transitional arrangements during 2014.

The aim of this Option

This Option aims to improve the biodiversity, scenic value and enhance the ecological stability of even-aged woodlands in the long term by restructuring their age and species composition and covers the additional cost of establishing of a successor crop.

Establishing a successor crop includes the following activities:

  • Any necessary and appropriate ground preparation and protection measures (fencing or individual tree shelters) you carry out to ensure tree establishment
  • Planting (including labour and cost of tree)
  • Beating-up
  • Weeding - for guidance, refer to the Forestry Commission Field Book 8 'The Use of Herbicides in the Forest'
  • Weevil control
  • Fertilising
  • Supervision of the site until it is established.

Rates of Support

These are Standard Cost Capital grants that will be paid upon satisfactory completion of the proposed activities. The eligible Standard Cost Capital items are a set list of species types. The payment rates are shown on the Woodland Improvement Grant page.

Eligibility criteria

  • You must own or lease the land
  • If you are a tenant or contractual licensee, you must discuss the proposed application with your landlord to make sure it does not break the conditions of your tenancy or licence, and submit a Landlord Notification Form with your Proposal.
  • If you have a tenancy or a licence with less than five years to run you must complete a Landlord Declaration form and ask your Landlord or the landowner to sign the declaration on that form.
  • You must restructure the age and/or species of the woodland
  • If you are restructuring with native mixed broadleaves and/or Caledonian Scots Pine species, all planting stock must be of a local provenance as defined in FCS Guidance Note: Seed Sources for Planting Native Trees and Shrubs in Scotland.
  • The grant for restructuring with 'diverse conifers' only provides support for conifer species other than Sitka Spruce. Planting with Sitka Spruce will only be eligible if the plants have been produced by vegetative propagation from seeds derived from controlled pollinations in 'Parents of Families' in the tested category.
  • In mixtures involving non grant aided Sitka spruce, we will only grant aid the other conifer element where this is at least 30% of the crop. We will not support nurse crops.
  • The minimum stocking densities required are:

Mixed Broadleaves and Native Mixed Broadleaves - 1100/ha

Caledonian Scots Pine - 1600/ha

Diverse Conifers - 2500/ha

  • If you are restructuring woodland to Short Rotation Forestry you will only be eligible for restructuring regeneration payments for the initial transformation of the woodland. Operations to restructure the woodland, planted with short rotation forestry at the end of any subsequent rotations will not be eligible for this payment.
  • All of your proposed work must comply with the UK Forestry Standard

Requirement for Forest Plan

If your woodland is less than 100 hectares, then you can provide an approved, simpler Management Plan to support your proposals.

Details you need to provide with your Proposal

Before your Proposal reaches the "Proposal Commit" stage you must provide:

  • A map showing the boundary of the area within which you will be carrying out the work. To ensure you mark your map correctly, please use the Mapping Guidance
  • Reference for your Forest Plan Proposal (up to 4th April 2012) or if you have opted to produce a Management Plan, a completed Management Plan template
  • An approved Felling Licence reference for the area.
  • A Forestry Outcome Plan. The Forestry Outcome Plan will ask for certain information so that we can assess your proposal. This will include:
  1. A description of the focus of the restructuring, e.g. age, species composition.
  2. If you are replanting native woodland, the Native Woodland Provenance to be used (specifying the Seed Source Zone).
  3. Details of the restocking type, ground preparation, species mixture, stocking density and proposed maintenance.

Claims and Inspections

Once you have completed your operations to a satisfactory condition, you should submit a capital claim.

You cannot make a claim for an area that exceeds that agreed in your contract. You must claim for the areas as detailed in your Schedule of Works, e.g. you cannot make an interim claim for part of the area shown on a single line of your Schedule of Works

For details of the procedure for submitting claims and the period within which you must do this please see the overview for Standard Cost and Actual cost Capital Payments

We will inspect the completed work to ensure that this meets the agreed management plan and the specification of agreed operations.

Evidence of provenance of planting stock

If you claim for Restructuring with native mixed broadleaves or restructuring with Caledonian Scots Pine, you must submit documentary evidence of the provenance of planting stock used with your claim. This should be in the form of a Certificate of Local Provenance where the stock has been bought from a nursery or suitable and appropriate evidence if the stock has been grown from local seed collection.

Genetically improved Sitka Spruce

If you claim for planting with genetically improved Sitka Spruce under Restructuring with Diverse Conifers, we will verify this against the planting material records you should supply as support to your claim.

List of links to relevant technical guidance

The UK Forestry Standard

Deer Commission for Scotland Best Practice Guidance

Joint Agency Fencing Guidance

FCS Guidance 'Management Plans for Semi-Natural Woodlands'

FCS Guidance 'Deer Impact Reduction'

FCS Guidance 'Long Term Forest Planning'

FC Forest Practice Guide ' Restoration of Native Woodland on Ancient Woodland Sites'

FC Forest Practice Guides to the Management of Semi- Natural Woodlands

Species Action Notes for Capercaillie, Black Grouse and Red Squirrel

Habitat management for Black Grouse

Habitat management for Capercaillie