English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) Support for the management of existing woodlands

4 minute read

Return to the article list

We found this great guide from the Forestry Commission to grants related to wood fuel and thought we would share with you.


This note is aimed at forest managers, agents and woodland owners, but is not designed to replace the scheme guidance, which can be found on the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) website, in EWGS grant packs or from local Forestry Commission offices. Information on support for new woodlands is available separately. Visit the Woodland Creation Grant for further information.


EWGS supports the creation and stewardship of woodlands and is operated by the Forestry Commission. If you enter into an EWGS agreement you must comply with forestry regulations, the UK Forestry Standard and associated Forestry Commission Guidance. The main aims of EWGS are the creation and sustainable management of woodlands to deliver:

  • Environmental improvements such as biodiversity and climate change mitigation.
  • Social benefits such as public access and recreation.

Grants will be offered where they meet national and regional objectives and there is money available. We recommend looking at the Forestry Commission website or contacting your local Forestry Commission office before applying, to check there are grant funds available.

Consultation and the Public Register

The Forestry Commission will consult with other bodies in certain circumstances. For example, applications affecting Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) will be sent to Natural England. All felling and woodland creation proposals are entered on the Forestry Commission’s Public Register for 28 days for anyone to view and also comment upon.

1. Woodland Planning Grant (WPG)

To support the preparation of woodland management plans

Designed primarily to aid the production of management plans – the foundation of sustainable management. The management plan template meets UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) planning requirements, thus assisting entry into certification.

Key eligibility
  • Properties with over 3ha of woodland are eligible.
  • All woodland within a property should be included.
Payment rates

£20/ha for the first 100 hectares, £10/ha thereafter, with a minimum payment of £1,000.

2. Woodland Assessment Grant (WAG)

To support information gathering that improves management decisions

Designed to obtain further information, where there is an identified need. The information required should inform management decisions and reflect the sensitivity of the site and proposed work.

3. Woodland Regeneration Grant (WRG)

To support desirable changes in woodland at the time of greatest opportunity

Designed to support the re-establishment of trees when woodland felling has taken place. Native woodland can include a proportion of non-native and advancing/ honorary native species, in accordance with the Ancient and Native Woodland Practice Guide.

Stocking density should reflect management objectives and good forestry practice. To be eligible for the Phytophthora ramorum supplement, restocking must meet good practice as set out in Operations Note 24 (available online from the Grants and Regulations Document Library).

4. Woodland Management Grant (WMG)

To support the basic management activities that underpin woodland sustainability

Designed to support operations that maintain or enhance the environmental and social value e.g., ride management, pest management, coppicing and uneconomic thinning.

  1. Sustainable management: Properties over 100ha must be certified to UKWAS. Properties between 30ha and 100ha do not need to be certified but must have a management plan. Properties under 30ha do not need to be certified but must have either a management plan or a Condition, Opportunity and Threat (COT) Assessment.
  2. SSSI woodlands, native woodlands, ancient woodlands, public access woodland (where there is a demand) or woodland within Red squirrel reserves are eligible for payment.
  3. There must be sufficient work taking place to justify the grant.
Payment rate

£30/ha per year on the eligible area.

5. Woodland Improvement Grant (WIG)

To support capital projects in woodlands

Designed to support work such as uneconomic thinning, coppicing, rhododendron clearance and public access facilities. There are four national funds available:

• SSSI WIG – 80% contribution towards work that will help a SSSI woodland achieve or maintain favourable condition.

• BAP WIG – 50% or 80% contribution to deliver the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for priority woodland habitats and species, e.g., restoring Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS).

• Red squirrel WIG – 80% contribution for conservation work in Red squirrel reserves and buffer zones.

• Public Access WIG – 50% or 80% contributions for the provision and improvement of public access facilities where there is a need. Higher contributions are available in regional priority areas, e.g., Social Regeneration Priority Areas. In addition to these national priorities, there are a range of regional funds, for example supporting work to help Woodland Birds, Ancient and Native Woodlands.

6. Woodfuel Woodland Improvement Grant (Woodfuel WIG)

To support work that improves the economic value of woodlands

Designed to support work such as machinery access tracks, loading areas, inventory work and harvesting programmes. This grant contributes 60% towards the cost of the work, and doesn’t take into account income that the work will subsequently generate.

Grant support for roads and infrastructure will be based on getting three quotes for the work, and production of receipted invoices with the grant claim.

Other EWGS grants

There are special grants operating in specific target areas to reflect regional priorities. For further information on these special grants contact your local Forestry Commission Office.

Claiming grants

Work must be done and claimed in the claim year agreed in the contract otherwise the grant offer is lost (unless an amendment is agreed by the end of the claim year).

Sources of further information

All of the information about the English Woodland Grant Scheme is available on the Forestry Commission website.

Or contact your local Forestry Commission office:

  • North West and West Midlands 01905 532200
  • Yorkshire and North East 01904 382300
  • East and East Midlands 01842 815544
  • South West 01626 890666
  • South East and London 01420 23337

Other funding may also be available under Defra schemes:

In the South West region, the specific point of contact in the Forestry Commission is:

Mark Prior
Partnerships and Expertise Manager
South West England
Mamhead Castle
Exeter, Devon, EX6 8HD

[email protected]

+44 (0)1626 890666 (switchboard)

+44 (0)1626 282871 (direct)

Ward Forester

For Devon woodland owners, there is currently a scheme called Ward forester, which groups small woodlands together to provide professional forester support.  The points of contact are: [email protected] tel: 01392 382221


The Confederation of Forest Industries and Renewable Energy Association jointly sponsor the Wood Fuel Suppliers group as a sub-trade association.  Full membership as supplier includes accreditation and assurance of wood fuel supply quality.


Biomass Energy Centre

The Forestry Commission’s Biomass Energy Centre is an independent and definitive source of Biomass Wood Fuel guidance:


Do you have a biomass or low carbon project?

Speak to our biomass team today

01884 250790

Back to top