A new woodland creation scheme has been launched to help fulfil the commitment to create more native and mixed woodland as set out in Woodlands for Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government's woodland strategy. The bespoke element of Glastir, Wales’s new sustainable land management scheme, offers grants to landowners to create new woodlands on their land. The grants provide support for the costs of creating new woodlands as well as income foregone payments for taking land out of agriculture.
Rural affairs minister Elin Jones said: "Woodlands play an important role in helping us to meet many of society’s challenges and priorities, including climate change, biodiversity and water management. Wales is one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with woodland covering only 14 per cent of the land area. Every landowner here can play a part in increasing this by looking for opportunities to create new woodlands that integrate with and complement their farm businesses.
"The Glastir woodland creation grants will assist the Assembly Government in fulfilling its promises to the people of Wales while also bringing a range of real benefits to the landowners managing their land and providing a financial return."
The new woodland creation grants have been developed by Forestry Commission Wales which will deliver them on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government until 1 January 2013 when responsibility for delivery will transfer to the Welsh Assembly Government.
Meanwhile, the Welsh Assembly has said any sell-off of the Forestry Commission will not affect Welsh forests because Wales is devolved.