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The Better Woodlands for Wales grant scheme is set to play a key role in delivering Glastir’s new tree planting target to significantly expand the area of woodland in Wales over the next 20 years.
Under the new Glastir arrangements announced by Minister for Rural Affairs Elin Jones in March, farmers would receive a capital grant to establish permanent woodland on lower grade agricultural land, together with annual maintenance and income foregone payments for up to 15 years after planting.
This funding will be delivered by Forestry Commission Wales via the Better Woodlands for Wales grant scheme until 2012, after which it will be delivered by the Welsh Assembly Government through Glastir.
In order to ensure that the Better Woodlands for Wales grant scheme is up to the task, Forestry Commission Wales has set up a project to examine the scheme’s design and to assess if adequate resources are in place.
Rachel Chamberlain, who has over 15 years experience in developing and delivering forestry grants, has been seconded from her role as Operations Manager in Forestry Commission Wales’s Grants and Regulations team to manage the six month project.
Rachel said, "As farmers own most of the land suitable for tree planting in Wales, their involvement is essential to expand the country’s woodland cover.
"It is therefore vital that we ensure the Better Woodlands for Wales grant scheme is able to engage with a wider group of landowners, particularly in agriculture.
"The project I am leading will identify the changes that need to happen to increase woodland planting in Wales and start putting these changes into practice."
Grants are available to plant or manage any areas of woodland over 0.25 hectare through Better Woodlands for Wales. For more details on the grant scheme please contact 0300 068 0300 or www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-5z8jcr
NOTES TO EDITORS
Better Woodlands for Wales
Better Woodlands for Wales (BWW) provides support for good quality, sustainable woodland management. Grant aid is provided for the creation and management of woodlands based on an approved, long-term management plan that meets the requirements of the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme.
It was launched in 2006, three years before the Welsh Assembly Government published its Woodlands for Wales Strategy in 2009. Since then, the emphasis on woodland creation has been broadened to include climate change, carbon capture and water management.
Forestry Commission Wales
About 14% of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
Forestry Commission Wales provides advice on forestry policy to the Minister responsible for forestry. It provides grant aid to the private sector and regulates forestry by issuing felling licences.
Forestry Commission Wales is also part of Forestry Commission GB and contributes to the international forestry agenda.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Press office contact: Mary Galliers, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0300 068 0057