England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) Grant: Your Comprehensive Guide


The England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) grant is a pivotal initiative aimed at promoting the establishment of new woodlands across England. Managed by the Forestry Commission and funded by the UK government through the Nature for Climate Fund, this grant is part of the UK's broader strategy to achieve Net Zero by 2050, enhance nature recovery, improve water quality, reduce flood risk, and increase recreational access to woodlands.

Understanding the EWCO Grant

The EWCO grant is structured to support woodland creation through planting or natural colonisation, offering financial assistance for both capital items and ongoing maintenance. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what the grant entails:

Key Objectives

  • Combatting Climate Change: Creating woodlands that store carbon and mitigate climate change.
  • Nature Recovery: Expanding woodland habitats to support biodiversity.
  • Water Quality Improvement: Establishing woodlands that filter and improve water quality.
  • Flood Risk Reduction: Planting trees to manage flood risks.
  • Recreational Access: Creating woodlands accessible to the public, enhancing community well-being.
  • Ammonia Capture: Planting trees to capture ammonia and protect sensitive sites.

Financial Support Elements

The EWCO grant is designed to provide comprehensive financial support, including:

  • Capital Items and Activities: Financial aid for the initial establishment of new woodlands.
  • Maintenance Payments: Annual payments over 15 years to ensure the successful establishment and growth of young trees.
  • Infrastructure Contributions: Funding for necessary infrastructure to support woodland management and recreational access.
  • Additional Contributions: Optional funds for projects that deliver specific public benefits beyond the basic requirements.

Eligibility and Application Process

The EWCO grant is open to a variety of applicants including landowners, tenants, landlords, and public bodies, provided they have management control of the land for the duration of the grant agreement. Joint applications and consortia are also encouraged, allowing multiple land managers to collaborate on woodland creation projects.

Eligible land must be within England and not already classified as woodland or under another conflicting obligation. It must also meet specific biosecurity standards, ensuring that all plants and trees are free from pests and diseases.

Preparing Your Application

To apply for the EWCO grant, follow these steps:

  1. Register with Rural Payments: Obtain a Single Business Identifier (SBI) and ensure your land is registered.
  2. Create a Woodland Creation Plan (WCP): Outline your objectives, tree species, planting density, and compliance with the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS). Include considerations for climate change resilience and public access.
  3. Submit Your Application: Complete the EWCO Application Form, including all necessary documentation and evidence of biosecure procurement for your trees.

Financial Breakdown

Recent updates to the EWCO have significantly increased the payment rates to better support farmers and land managers. Here’s the updated financial structure:

  • Capital Costs: Standard costs remain up to £10,200 per hectare.
  • Annual Maintenance Payments: Increased from £350 to £400 per hectare per year for 15 years, recognizing the importance of caring for new trees.
  • Infrastructure Funding: Support for creating and maintaining access routes, recreational facilities, and other necessary infrastructure.
  • Additional Contributions: Now up to £11,600 per hectare, a 45% increase from the previous maximum of £8,000. This can rise to £12,700 in stackable payments if the land is also eligible for the new Low Sensitivity Land Payment.

Breakdown of Additional Contributions

  • Recreation/Access: Increased from £2,200 to £3,700 per hectare.
  • Landscape/Urban: Increased from £500 to £600 per hectare.
  • Riparian: Increased from £1,600 to £2,500 per hectare.
  • Water Quality: Increased from £400 to £500 per hectare.
  • Flood Risk Management: Doubled from £500 to £1,000 per hectare.
  • Nature Recovery: Introduced a new premium payment of £3,300 per hectare for planting or natural colonisation of highly biodiverse woodlands next to ancient woodland.

Biosecurity and Sustainability

A critical component of the EWCO grant is ensuring biosecurity and sustainability. Applicants must source plants from certified suppliers and adhere to biosecurity standards to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. The grant also encourages sustainable practices in woodland management, aligning with the UKFS guidelines.

Fast Track and Scoring System

To streamline the application process, the EWCO offers a Fast Track option for certain projects and employs a scoring system to evaluate applications based on their potential public benefits and alignment with the grant’s objectives. Higher scores are given to projects that demonstrate significant contributions to climate change mitigation, nature recovery, and public access.

How Grant Can Help

Navigating the complexities of the EWCO grant can be challenging. This is where Grant, our digital navigator, comes in. Grant simplifies the process by providing tailored advice on woodland creation and identifying applicable grants. Whether you need guidance on tree species selection, land management practices, or regulatory compliance, Grant is here to assist at no cost.


The EWCO grant represents a significant opportunity for landowners, tenants, and public bodies to contribute to the UK's reforestation goals while receiving substantial financial support. By understanding the grant's structure, eligibility requirements, and application process, you can effectively plan and execute your woodland creation project. With the assistance of digital tools like Grant, the path to successful application and sustainable woodland management becomes clearer and more achievable.

So, what exactly is the EWCO grant? Simply put, it's a fantastic opportunity for those looking to establish new woodlands in England. Whether you're a landowner, tenant, landlord, or part of a public body, as long as you have management control of the land, you can apply. This grant covers everything from planting to maintaining the woodlands for 15 years, ensuring they thrive.

What kind of projects does the EWCO fund? Think new woodlands that enhance biodiversity, improve water quality, manage flood risks, and provide recreational spaces for the public. It's about creating spaces that benefit both the environment and the community.

And here's where our digital navigator, Grant, steps in. Grant can help you navigate the EWCO grant application process, offering tailored advice and identifying other grants you might qualify for. From tree species selection to regulatory compliance, Grant makes it easier to plan and execute your woodland creation project.

Biosecurity is also a crucial part of the EWCO. You'll need to source plants from certified suppliers to prevent pests and diseases from spreading. This ensures your new woodland is not only beautiful but also sustainable and healthy.

Finally, the Fast Track option and scoring system of the EWCO make it easier to get your project approved if it aligns well with the grant’s objectives. Projects that significantly contribute to climate change mitigation, nature recovery, and public access get higher scores, increasing their chances of approval.

By understanding the ins and outs of the EWCO grant and leveraging the support of tools like Grant, you can turn your woodland creation dreams into reality, contributing to the UK's environmental goals and creating a legacy for future generations.