English Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) opened on the 9th June 2021 and replaced the Woodland Carbon Fund. The EWCO is administered by the Forestry Commission and is funded through the Nature for Climate Fund. EWCO is one of a suite of Forestry Commission initiatives to support woodland creation and tree planting in England.
The EWCO is open to owner occupiers, tenants, landlords and licensors who have full management control of the land in the application (or consent from those who do – on tenanted land, for example, both tenants and landlords must confirm their consent and sign the application.) Joint applications and applications on common land and areas of shared grazing are also eligible.
Land is eligible if it is:
- in England
- within the full management control of the applicant (and any counter-signatories, where applicable)
- not already classified as woodland
- not subject to any existing legal requirement or obligation to create woodland
- not subject to a dispute between landlords and tenants
- not currently within an existing grant agreement that has more than five months left to run at the time the EWCO application is submitted.
The minimum total size of woodland included in an application is 1 hectare. There are four types of payments available under EWCO and you can check the location of your proposed woodland on the Forestry Commission map browser and Land Information search.
EWCO is a criteria-based, competitive scheme, with funding offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Points are available for a range of positive impacts, including:
- climate change resilience
- using private finance to support woodland creation
- nature recovery
- improved water quality
- planting riparian buffers
- flood risk prevention
- social benefits, such as providing public access
- ammonia capture
You will need to score your own application before you submit it to the Forestry Commission and, for it to be progressed, it will need to meet or exceed the minimum threshold score at the time you submit, which is currently 10 points. Once you have agreed your final application with your Forestry Commission Woodland Officer, you will be given a final score – this must meet or exceed the score that applied when you submitted your initial application. It is also worth noting that eligible land under EWCO can be used to claim payments via BPS.
If you require further information, please contact us on 01558 650381.