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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 (open for applications now, visit the Woodland Support pages of GOV.UK to download guidance and application forms now and submit your application by the 16 February 2018). Please send all completed woodland creation applications to the Natural England Crewe office:

     Natural England, PO Box 380, Crewe, CW1 6YH
     Tel: 0208 026 1805

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.

Find out about the benefits of managed woodland

Last updated: 13th February 2018

What's of interest

Find guidance and application forms

Go to GOV.UK to read more

Use this claim form for a CS grant

Register for our Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation Maintenance webinar on Thursday 1 March at 1.30pm. Register to join here.

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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