20th March 2024

Payments for new woodlands on farmland set for 45% increase

payments for new woodland areas

Farmers and landowners across England are set to benefit more from creating new woodlands on their land following a significant uplift to payments, the government has announced.

The 45% increase to England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) payments, which come in with immediate effect, will see payments per hectare rise from £8,000 to £11,600, giving landowners more incentive to consider new woodland creation – with a further increase to £12,700 in stackable payments should the land also be eligible for the new Low Sensitivity Land Payment.

Making the announcement, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow highlighted that food security remained “a government priority” and that the move would help conserve the natural environment whilst ensuring the best land is still utilised for food production.

Jonathan Thompson, Senior Associate in the Thrings Agriculture team, said: “We are continuing to see more and more farmers look to diversify the use of their land, whether that is to use it for new housing, leisure and tourism or other commercial ventures, but one of the biggest changes we are seeing is a rise in natural capital schemes – such as creating new woodland spaces and other efforts to boost biodiversity.

“This is the latest incentive for rural landowners to go green and, with the government continuing to promote it’s environmental agenda, it is likely it won’t be the last. We recommend that, with such a range of opportunities out there, landowners should seek legal advice if they are considering entering into such an agreement to ensure it is the right path for them.”

Thrings’ Agriculture team is one of the largest of its kind in the UK with decades of experience in successfully supporting its farming and landowner clients to achieve their aims and the potential for their business. Its lawyers are ranked in the highest tier by both the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners directories and have been chosen by the NFU to act for its members in more countries than any other firm.

Find out more about how our lawyers can support farmers, food producers and rural communities on our Information for Farmers page.

Thrings information for farmers lawyers

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