Yesterday was our English Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) morning at Bangrove Farm, funded by the Carrant Catchment Area Restoration Project.

The event was open to FWAG members who wanted to learn more about this important grant, and had a slippery start, transporting attendees up the hill in the rain. We started off with a presentation in the farmer's lodge about EWCO, and then headed outside. The sun came out just in time for our walk around a small portion of the Ash dominated woodland, where the Forestry Commission advised on the best types of management for the area, and looked at a mock agreement to determine what the grant would be for this 2Ha area. The FWAG members in attendance were able to observe and learn about the offers the Forestry Commission has. After this, we finished up with a light lunch of sandwiches provided by a local farm shop. This was a lovely part of the day, as the farmers got the chance to chat and catch up with each other. 

EWCO is a way to increase woodland area on your farm. You will be paid for the creation and maintenance of woodland, with extra payments for ecosystem services for the next ten years. Once this comes to an end, there is the option to go into the Woodland Carbon Code Guarantee but you need to express interest from the planning stage and not once the woodland is planted. This is fully supported by FC and Natural England who have specific officers to guide and support you from day one. If you have areas over 5Ha you can also apply for a Woodland Creation Planning Grant which helps you design the woodland before looking at establishment and maintenance.

Fifteen people attended - a full event! For more details and guidance on the English Woodland Creation Offer, visit the dedicated page.