LANDOWNERS in Northern Ireland can now apply to a new £4 million grant scheme for help to plant their own native woodlands.

Northern Ireland's environment minister Edwin Poots announced the scheme as the next stage of the province's ‘Forests for Our Future’ programme, which aims to plant 18 million trees by 2030, creating 9000 hectares of new woodland to help both the environment and the economy.

Successful applicants to the Small Woodland Grant Scheme will receive a standard establishment grant to cover the cost of planting their woodland and will also be eligible for an annual premia for a period of 10 years when planting on agricultural land.

Minister Poots said: “To date approximately 574,000 trees have been planted and I am pleased to announce he opening of the new Small Woodland Grant Scheme, with a fund of £4million, to support farmers and other landowners in planting native trees in smaller areas to complement their existing holdings and land management, and therefore helping us achieve the ambitious target under the ‘Forests for Our Future’ programme.

“I am continuing to lead the development of the Executive’s Green Growth strategy, which aims to transform our society towards net zero carbon by 2050, protect and enhance our environment and to sustainably grow the economy. ‘Forests for Our Future’ will be a foundation programme of Green Growth."

READ MORE: Croft Woodland Project sees one million trees planted – and still going​

Encouraging farmers and landowners to apply for the Grant Scheme, Minister Poots added: “Applications can be submitted for areas down to 0.2 of a hectare. The new scheme is simple to apply for using an online application and approval system, it provides a planting plan and map for applicants and grant is paid on a standard rate basis. The grant scheme will operate under the Area Based Scheme processes and all applicants require a DAERA Business ID to apply.”

All applications for the new Small Woodland Grant Scheme must be submitted using the online system by 11pm on February 28, 2021. The scheme is planned to re-open in summer 2021.

Further details are available on the DAERA website.

Alternatively, contact Forest Service on 028 6634 3165 or email:

This story first appeared in The Scottish Farmer.


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