Get your Forest schemes applications in by 31 August

Date published: 26 August 2022

DAERA wishes to remind anyone planning on applying for grant aid for planting this winter that the closing date for Forest Expansion Scheme & Small Woodland Grant Schemes is next Wednesday 31 August.

The schemes are part of the ‘Forests for Our Future’ programme to encourage and help landowners plant their own woodlands. The available grants can support all types of sustainable woodland with the Small Woodland Grant Scheme being designed as a simple online scheme for new native woodlands of 0.2 hectares and larger, while the Forest Expansion Scheme supports native woodland, mixed woodland or commercial conifer woodland that can best meet land owners business needs whilst contributing to a living, working, active landscape. Successful applicants to the schemes will receive up to 100% of eligible establishment costs and annual premium payments for a 10-year period.

Landowners who wish to plant this winter are reminded that all applications to the Forest Expansion Scheme must be submitted to Forest Service by 3pm on 31 August 2022. All applications to the Small Woodland Grant Scheme must be made using the online system before 10pm on 31 August 2022.

Further details are available on the DAERA website. Alternatively, contact Forest Service on 028 6634 3103 or email:

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Forest Expansion Scheme establishment Grant is competitive and those projects which maximise delivery of scheme objectives at minimum cost, that is to say those offering best value for money, will be prioritised and selected for funding. Successful applicants may receive up to 100% of eligible costs, however bids with lower costs may make your application better value for money and more likely to be selected for funding.
  2. The Small Woodland Grant Scheme establishment grant is paid at £2,925 per hectare, 80% in year 1 and the remaining 20% in year 5. A fencing grant is also available where necessary to secure the new woodland.
  3. Annual premium payments are payable over a 10-year period where the land to be planted is in agricultural use.
  4. Land that was eligible and on which Single Farm Payment (SFP) was paid in respect of the 2008 scheme year and is subsequently converted to forestry under an EU scheme remains eligible for the duration of the Forestry Scheme.
  5. The schemes are funded through the Rural Development Programme, part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and DAERA.
  6. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  7. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office:
  8. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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