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Grant schemes

Private sector woodland in Great Britain is supported by a range of grants for creating new woodland and managing existing woodland. The Woodland Grant Scheme (WGS) was introduced in 1988, at the same time as tax relief was phased out. In Scotland, WGS was replaced by the Scottish Forestry Grant Scheme (SFGS) in 2003, by Rural Development Contracts in 2008 and has now been replaced by the Forestry Grant Scheme. The English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) was launched in July 2005 and has now been replaced by Countryside Stewardship. Better Woodlands for Wales (BWW) was launched in December 2005 and has now been replaced by Glastir (administered by the Welsh Government).

Because of the differences between these schemes, it is increasingly difficult to provide comparable statistics across the three countries. The following tables provide useful information relating to planting and grants:

  • Table 1.14 for total areas of new planting and restocking;
  • Table 8.4 for expenditure by the Forestry Commission/ Scottish Forestry on grants and partnership funding;
  • Table 8.5 (below) for grant expenditure by the Forestry Commission (including grant expenditure managed by the Forestry Commission on behalf of Defra), by Scottish Forestry and by the Welsh Government.

Table 8.5 presents information on grant money paid in 2009-10 to 2018-19. A total of £76.6 million was paid in grants in 2018-19, a 37% increase from the total for the previous year.

At a country level, £50.2 million was paid in grants in Scotland in 2018-19 (an increase of 32% from the previous year), £20.5 million was paid in England (a 52% increase) and £5.9 million in Wales (an increase of 27%).

Table 8.5 Grant money paid, 2009-10 to 2018-19

  England1 Wales2 Scotland3 GB
£ million    
2009-10 24.4 2.9 5.7 33.0
2010-11 28.7 3.8 18.9 51.4
2011-12 32.5 5.4 34.2 72.1
2012-13 32.8 5.0 32.3 70.1
2013-14 33.9 4.1 35.5 73.5
2014-15 32.4 1.8 39.2 73.4
2015-16 23.0 3.6 27.5 54.1
2016-17 23.8 3.3 30.5 57.5
2017-18 13.5 4.7 37.9 56.1
2018-19 20.5 5.9 50.2 76.6

Source: Forestry Commission, Scottish Forestry, Welsh Government

Notes:

1. England includes grant scheme expenditure managed by the Forestry Commission on behalf of Defra.

2. Wales relates to grant paid by the Welsh Government.

3. Scotland includes grants paid under the Forestry Grant Scheme and legacy schemes (including Rural Development Contracts).

The total grant money paid in Great Britain has fluctuated over recent years, with levels often dipping around the times that new grant schemes are introduced, followed by a sharp recovery.

Figure 8.2 Grant money paid, 2003-04 to 2018-19

Fig 8.2.png

Source: Forestry Commission, Scottish Forestry, Welsh Government

Notes:

1. England includes grant scheme expenditure managed by the Forestry Commission on behalf of Defra.

2. Wales relates to grant paid by the Welsh Government.

3. Scotland includes grants paid under the Forestry Grant Scheme and legacy schemes (including Rural Development Contracts).

Additional resources

Sources chapter: Finance & prices

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