HOW great would the incentives have to be for you to happily go through the rigmarole? 

If, let's say, someone offered you an original Aston Martin DB5, but the pay-off was you had to assemble it piece by piece, would you still want the keys?

At a time when all of us seem to have little time at all, that would surely be enough to make some people think twice. If my own track record with IKEA furniture is anything to go by, I'd give it a bash, quickly lose patience, and end up with a product only resembling the picture on the box in spirit.

In that scenario (feel free to swap in any other expensive item that takes your fancy), one of the world's most sought-after cars is on offer. But what if the rewards were far less obvious, at least to your average punter? 

This seems to be the case when tree planting comes up. Everyone knows trees are good, but convincing landowners and farmers to dedicate some of their territory to them can often by a hard sell. 

One scheme designed to sweeten the deal is the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO), which now, courtesy of an increased rate, will cover costs of items used to plant new woodland at £10,200 per hectare, a 20 per cent rise on its previous incentive. In a country where tree-planting is toiling, it is hoped the move could provide a much-needed shot in the arm. 

Dean Latten, site director with tree shelter manufacturer Tubex, was among those to suggest as much, saying: "Forestry projects still face significant problems with securing planning permission and excessive red tape – but more money for frankly essential planting equipment is a good step in the right direction."

It's hard to disagree, but this is where that idea of rigmarole comes into it. Just last year, MPs were told the EWCO process is putting landowners off applying for the grant (and, in turn, putting more trees in the ground). 

Justin Mumford, a director of Nicholsons Lockhart Garratt, said during a committee meeting: "As chartered foresters, we are able to provide that advice, but I won’t lie to you: it is very complex and it is a time-consuming process. That on its own can create time lags in submitting applications.

Forestry Journal: Dean Latten welcomed the increase to EWCO rates Dean Latten welcomed the increase to EWCO rates

"A quicker, more succinct administration process for those grants would be very important."

Whether or not the extra few thousand pounds on offer will be enough to convince more people to go through the current process remains to be seen. 

We're not exactly offering Aston Martins and Ferraris for the hours lost to bureaucracy.

This piece is an extract from last week's Forestry Features newsletter, which is emailed out at 4PM every Wednesday with a round-up of the week's top stories. 

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