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Countryside Stewardship

Countryside Stewardship is a Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) grant scheme. It will contribute around £900 million over six years to help farmers and woodland managers look after the environment.

Woodland is one of the scheme’s priorities and funding is available to:

  • create new woodland (open 3 January 2017 - 31 March 2017)
  • support the preparation of management plans (currently closed for new applications, application forms and guidance will be available on GOV.UK from week commencing 19 December, ready for the submission window which opens on 3 January 2017)
  • address tree health issues (open year-round)
  • improve existing woodlands (currently closed to new applications)

Countryside Stewardship is competitive and applications will be scored against local priority targets to maximise environmental benefit.

Identify a funding opportunity

A number of funding opportunities are available to help farmers and land managers protect, expand and improve their woodlands.

View what funding is available and when.

Further information

Natural England will handle all initial Countryside Stewardship enquiries. You can contact Natural England by telephone (0300 060 3900) or email (

Once you have your initial information and if you have any queries, contact your local Woodland Officer.

Find out about the benefits of managed woodland

Last updated: 7th December 2016

What's of interest

Find guidance and application forms

Go to GOV.UK to read more

Use this claim form for a CS grant

Woodland creation

This grant is opening for business on 3 January 2017.

Forestry Commission are holding a webinar for agents on 20 December 2016 from 10.30 to 11.00, to talk through the Countryside Stewardship 2017 Capital Grants.

Please register for this event

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Previous e-alerts are archived in our document library.