PA199/A/13 Upcoming Forestry Challenge Scheme for woodland creation

29 August 2013

The Forest Service is giving landowners advanced notice of its intention to open a Forestry Challenge Scheme on 20 September. The scheme will encourage the planting of larger scale woodland areas by inviting tenders from landowners for proposals to plant at least 5 hectares.

Applications to the Challenge Scheme will be assessed to select projects that comply with the Forestry Grant Scheme rules, enhance landscape character, provide biodiversity and communities benefits, and are resilient to climate change and tree pests. Projects that deliver well designed woodland above the minimum threshold area will also be given preference. Agreements must be signed with successful candidates by the cut-off date of 31 December 2013.

Up to £0.5 million of funding is available for the creation of at least 100 hectares of new woodland.  Successful applicants will receive up to 70% of eligible costs of delivery of their project over the first 5 years. Farmers converting land from agriculture will be eligible to apply for the annual Farm Woodland Premium Scheme.

Landowners are encouraged to start thinking about land they may wish to convert to woodland under the Forestry Challenge Scheme, and to keep their eyes on the Forest Service website [] where detailed information on the competition will shortly be available.

For further information contact Afforestation and Plant Health Branch , Forest Service, Room 5b Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Road (Tel: 028 9037 8502).  

Notes to Editors:

  1. All media enquiries to DARD Press Office, or tel: 028 9052 4619