An opportunity to plant new native woodland under the Environmental Farming Scheme

Date published: 09 March 2017

The Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) remains open for applications until 31 March 2017. One of the scheme options is the ‘Establishment of native woodland less than 5 hectares’. The aim of this option is to increase the area of native woodland in Northern Ireland, provide habitat for a range of wildlife and to make a positive contribution to the landscape character of the countryside.

Planting for the future under EFS

Successful applicants will be approved to plant an area of new native woodland of between 0.10 and 4.99 hectares. It is not necessary to plant an entire field and you may apply for a portion of a field to be planted. 

Suitable land

The Woodland must be planted on land declared as eligible agricultural area (MEA). It must not be planted on priority habitats such as species-rich grassland, heath or bog, Permanent Grassland Sensitive (PGS) or breeding wader habitat. The option is not available for replanting areas where woodland has been harvested.

Woodland Creation Plan

A woodland creation plan (WCP) is a requirement for the ‘Establishment of native woodland less than 5 ha’ option. Successful applicants will be contacted by a DAERA Countryside Management Adviser to help draw up and agree a suitable WCP. The WCP will include the area to be planted, the layout, number and mix of tree species to be planted and proposed management when established.

Can I continue to claim Basic Payment Scheme payments on the land?

You can claim the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) on land within this option for the duration of your EFS commitment, provided that Single Farm Payment had been claimed for and paid on the land in 2008.

Further details on Environmental Farming Scheme (Wider) Stand Alone Options can be found online by accessing the DAERA website.

What if I need help with an application?

If you require assistance in completing an EFS application, or have difficulty with broadband or IT, call the EFS Advisory Service on 0300 200 7848. An adviser will discuss with you your options and the help that is available to you, including a ‘one to one’ appointment at your local DAERA Direct office.   

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