Forestry Commission logo

Woodland Location

Countryside Stewardship Grant -Woodland Creation is more tightly targeted than in previous grant programmes. National targeting maps have been developed for woodland creation and management in order to maximise the benefits for biodiversity and water objectives. The priority areas identified through that national mapping work are available to view through the Forestry Commission’s ‘Land Information Search’ online mapping.

Woodland creation grant aid for biodiversity objectives is available across most of England. The only areas excluded in the national targeting maps are where there is deep peat, open water or where the mapping data suggests an area is largely built up.

Woodland creation grant aid is only available for water objectives where the science suggests tree planting can help address an identified water quality or flood risk issue.

It is important to note that these national targeting maps can only ever be indicative. For instance, in many instances the maps are based on soils data which is sometimes only accurate to 1km2. If your land holding is on the edge or falls just outside a priority area, contact your local Woodland Officer for further advice about how to interpret the targeting map data.

It is also important to understand that the maps have only been designed to identify priority areas from a national perspective. If new woodland planting is going to provide maximum benefit for biodiversity or water, the design and layout of any proposed new planting and the location of that new woodland within the landscape is crucially important. This level of detail cannot be incorporated within a national targeting map, but is outlined in more detail in the ‘Planting for Biodiversity’ and ‘Planting for Water’ sections on this website. Contact your local Woodland Officer for help to ensure your proposed woodland scheme has the best chance of being supported.

Land Information Search for Countryside Stewardship Grant -Woodland Creation

 You can access the Land Information Search (LIS) by clicking this link:

Select either the basic or advanced search option. Both options will clearly illustrate which locations are priority areas.

  • Click the dropdown list, found under the ‘Go To’ heading and select the option you wish to use to run the search:

-Grid Reference

 -Region, Area or Parish

-City, Town or Place Name

-Postcode (leave a space in between the postcode, e.g. BS6 6LG)

  • Enter the reference in the ‘Go To’ box and click the binoculars symbol to run the search.
  • You can adjust the scale of the map to zoom in and out. Under the ‘Scale’ heading you can select a pre-set option or customise your own. You can also expand the size of the map by clicking ‘Size Screen’ along the top of the map.

Once you have the desired area of land displayed, you can begin checking if the land is near or within priority areas, in accordance with the information provided on your Scoring Form. 

  • Under the heading ‘Key - Select Data Layers(s)/Scaled Grid’, expand the ‘Countryside Stewardship’ tab.
  • Click the box for the CS objective you want to compare your land against, e.g. ‘CS Water- Flood Risk’ and click ‘Reset/ Refresh’ on the map to load the page. (Only search for one objective at a time, to avoid confusion.)
  • You’ll see there is either a coloured or patterned box next to the check box on each objective. These colours will also be displayed as layers on the map to show where priority areas are.
  • Within the tri-coloured boxes, each colour reflects the level of priority (high, medium and lower) for objectives which have tiers of priority.
  • Single coloured or patterned boxes represent areas of land which are priority areas and have only one tier for scoring, such as for ‘Proximity to priority woodland’.
  • On the Scoring Form, the shaded areas of the form containing the points available, relate to the colours shown on the LIS map. This will allow you to attribute the colour(s) shown on the map to the level of priority and hence the points available.

The following Countryside Stewardship Grant -Woodland Creation objectives can be checked for on LIS:


-Creation of priority woodland habitat: Priority habitat networks (Click LIS data layer: 'CS biodiversity priority habitat', brown highlighted areas = high priority, blue highlighted areas = medium priority and grey highlighted areas = lower priority).

-Creation of priority woodland habitat:Priority habitat proximity (Click LIS data layer: 'Ancient woodland (ASNW)' and 'Ancient woodland (PAWS)', green checked areas = ASNW and yellow checked areas = PAWS).

-Creation of woodland that supports S41 species (Data layers in the LIS for the selected priority species and the woodland bird assemblage will be available soon).


-Creation of woodland to improve water quality (Click LIS data layer: 'CS water - water quality', green highlighted areas = high priority, blue highlighted areas = medium priority and pink highlighted areas = lower priority).

-Creation of woodland to reduce flood risk (Click LIS data layer: 'CS water - flood risk', maroon highlighted areas = high priority, orange highlighted areas = medium priority and yellow highlighted areas = lower priority).

Cross Cutting:

-Creation of woodland to support climate change adaptation (Click LIS data layer: 'CS cross cutting - keeping rivers cool', blue squares = priority areas).

Last updated: 10th February 2016