What is the fund?
The HS2 Woodland Fund offers support for planting new native woodland and restoring plantations on ancient woodland sites within a 25-mile zone surrounding the HS2 route - currently in Phase One, from London to the West Midlands. Applications to the HS2 Woodland Fund are accepted all year round, but are assessed 4 times a year.
What are the deadlines?
The next deadline to submit your application is Friday 5 July 2019. This is the final submission date where you will be able to get an agreement to undertake work in the coming planting season. The next deadline after the 5th July is Friday 11th October 2019, but at this stage agreements will only be offered for the 2020/21 season.
What happens next?
Once an application has been submitted it’s reviewed by the HS2 Woodland Fund Panel who will provisionally allocate funding 3 weeks after the application deadline, after which a Woodland Officer is assigned and site visit organised. Submitting your application by 5th July will ensure that you receive an agreement no later than the end of November, and in some cases much sooner.
The HS2 Woodland Fund first opened in February 2018 attracting a high level of interest and a number of agreements that have already led to changes on the ground. This includes planting at Avon Wood in Warwickshire.
Robin Truslove, an expert in his field, said:
As a Chartered Forester, it is a pleasure to work with landowners and with the FC Woodland Officers. The FC have been very positive and pragmatic in managing the application process, and the streamlined application form was a good feature of the HS2 funding.
Woodland owner David said:
I was originally considered planting the woodland by hand over the next 10-20 years, but then I learned there were a number of grants available from the Forestry Commission which would allow me to speed up the process and realise the benefits of the woodland a lot quicker. The HS2 Woodland Fund suited our needs and it meant we were able to plant the whole site later that year which was great to get the trees in the ground so quickly
Find out full details about the support that is available, along with the eligibility map, on the HS2 Woodland Fund gov.uk page.