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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:

  • improve existing woodlands (open now for applications via Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier - please request your application pack now)
    • Call the Natural England Enquiries line on: 0208 026 1089 to request your application pack before the 13 April 2017
  • support the preparation of management plans (application forms and guidance are available on GOV.UK , the submission window is open year round)
  • address tree health issues (open year-round)
  • create new woodland (currently closed to new applications)

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

Please contact your local woodland officer if you would like to talk about Countryside Stewardship for 2017.

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: 15th March 2017

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 Improvement via Higher Tier is now open. View our customer webinar here.

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