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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 (applications for 2018 will open on 15 January 2018, request application packs by 9 March 2018 and submit initial applications by 13 April 2018 please see Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier for more information)
  • 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 (the Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation grant is now closed for 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 management plans or tree health grants for 2017, or woodland creation for 2018.

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.

Countryside Stewardship agreement management

Countryside Stewardship agreement holders will have a requirement to keep records of all management activity for WD2 option areas. Countryside Stewardship agreement documents will list all relevant prescriptions and these will include the need to complete Operational Site Assessments (where relevant) and also provide monitoring reports with revenue claims in years 3 and 5.

Operations Note 044 provides guidance for using a Monitoring Report Spreadsheet that can be used to create summary monitoring reports and Photographic Monitoring Reports (under Related Documents in the sidebar of this page). The spreadsheet will allow you to monitor yearly progress for the Countryside Stewardship agreement work areas and create useful reports.

Find out about the benefits of managed woodland

Last updated: 17th May 2018

What's of interest

To help inform the forestry sector, analysis of initial applications for CS Woodland Creation Grant 2018 has been carried out to estimate the species breakdown for potential new planting projects. See the results here.

An applicant webinar was held on the Woodland Creation Maintenance grant on Thursday 1 March. For information on the application process and grant requirements, watch the recording.

Find guidance and application forms

Go to GOV.UK to read more

Use this claim form for a CS grant

The CS Woodland Tree Health Manual has been refreshed for 2018. View the changes made to the CS Woodland Tree Health Manual

The CS Woodland Management Plan Grant manual has now been updated and will apply to all agreements commencing from 1 April 2018. This edition of the manual makes a number of small changes.

We recently held a What's new in Woodland Creation 2018 Webinar, you can view the slides or watch the recording. We have also produces a short Q&A.

For more information on Woodland Support via Higher Tier you can watch the customer webinar we held recently.

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Previous e-alerts are archived in our archive.

Related pages

Related documents