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Tree health pilot scheme opens

The removal of diseased or pest-ridden trees is a necessity when it comes to improving the environment and now a government fund is available to help farmers and landowners finance the cost of this work.

Grants of up to £5,000 are being made available in England to help farmers and landowners fell and restock trees under DEFRA’s new Tree Health Pilot scheme, which is now open for expressions of interest.

The scheme will run alongside the existing Countryside Stewardship Woodland Tree Health grants and will be delivered by the Forestry Commission. It will run until 2024 and DEFRA is looking for around 100 applications from those who submit expressions of interest. Those already receiving grants under the Countryside Stewardship scheme will not be eligible.

The initial focus is on ash, sweet chestnut, larch and spruce in specific geographic areas  – the North West, West Midlands, London and the South East.

The results of the Pilot scheme will inform the full Tree Health Scheme, due to launch in 2024, and will trial new elements, such as removing roadside ash with ash dieback and trees affected by spruce bark beetle and sweet chestnut blight.

Full details about the scheme are available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tree-health-pilot-scheme

Pic credit: Photo by Collie Coburnon Unsplash