Small Woodland Owners' Group

eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Paperwork, grants, legal issues

eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Postby paul » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:47 am

hi

My wood is approx 2 hectares, so does not qualify for EWGS (the minimum being 3 hectares).

But my wood is a plot in a larger forest and I have friendly woodland neighbours on three sides. If I club together with one or more neighbours, would our combined plots be eligible for EWGS? The larger forest in which we have plots is all a neglected oak wood with hazel coppice understory, classed as Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW).

The idea is to get a Managment Plan done and then probably some felling work to thin some of the standards, and some fencing work to protect young trees from deer.

Cheers,
Paul


The documentation on http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-6dccn3 says:
"Properties with over 3 hectares of woodland are eligible"
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Re: eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:33 am

I understand the area size eligible for grants is under review and is likely to be reduced shortly. (heard that from an FC officer). This will apply to items such as cost of management plans (current grant £1000).

Sounds like you have a similar set up to myself, only difference being mine is a small stand alone wood, not part of a bigger forest. Having gone through this myself very recently, I'll repeat what I think the key recommendations are from the various sources who've given me advice.

Spend a year or two carefully observing to get a feel for the wood. See if any ecology surveys have been done by past owners. As part of a management plan, do a map detailing each section of the wood, recording the particular species and observations such as density of trees, light levels, access, evidence of any problems. Use a SWOT approach (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunites, Threats). This should form a base of knowledge to progress your management plan. You don't have to pay a fortune to do a management plan for a small wood; you can do it yourself using the information available from FC leaflets, books, online resources and various visiting experts.

What you need to try and do is see where the wood will be in 50 or 100 years and try to help it towards a healthy balance, depending on your objectives. If you want a thriving understorey of Hazel, there is an optimum number of standards. Perhaps they've reached a size where the canopy is restricting light. You should be looking at about 30m between big standards. As part of any thinning plans, check out Bats with a local bat group (they are protected).

Nobody likes to fell trees, but if the wood is neglected then its good for the woods long term health to get in more light and ensure a mix of tree species and ages. What might surprise is the market value of good big oaks, which is high. Careful selective thinning should not only leave the wood in a better state but recoup a portion of what you paid for it. Don't go overboard on the thinning though, if something has taken 100 years to grow and is valuable habitat, its a decision that should be given careful thought.

Rather than spending a large amount on deer fencing, an alternative might be to talk to your neighbours and discuss a deer management (culling) plan. There are too many of them and they don't have predators to keep their numbers down, so they are depleting the forests. - You could say the same about the human race.

Good luck !
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Re: eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:00 am

just to add to paws advice on the deer, as a woodland owner you do not need to have a firearms licence and the correct high power calibre rifle to cull deer, your allowed by law to use a 12 gauge shotgun, as long as its to protect your trees/saplings, and as its everyone's right to have a shotgun cert (unless you have served time) you could do it yourself, rather than having to pay others
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Re: eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:54 pm

'Cuse my ignorance on killing things Ratty, but is a shotgun really the optimum firearm to kill deer cleanly?. I thought a marksman goes for an accurate high velocity kill shot using sights. Isnt a shotgun designed for a spread shot going for smaller prey such as vermin ?. If a shotgun just peppered a deer (as they don't have a huge range) it could cause the animal and shooter quite a bit of stress and just lead to a badly injured suffering animal ?

There may be a difference between firearm applications and shotgun certificates, but I believe you can't just walk into a gun shop and say "I'd like a shotgun please", there's still a fairly thorough process to go through, with a CRC, countersignatory, declaration you've never had Jihadist training in Wolverhampton, etc.
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Re: eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:11 pm

I've answered my own question Ratty by doing some research. Yes, you can take out deer with a shotgun, using (clue is in the name) Buckshot, which uses bigger pellets than Birdshot, which is what I associate with a shotgun. In fact, their are semi urban US Districts where the law requires using a shotgun rather than a rifle to hunt deer, as rifle shot can carry far further and as such is considered more hazardous. You also have single big 'Foster' type slugs which look like a large bullet, weighing an ounce for use in shotguns, accurate to about 3" at 50 metres and designed for medium size game such as deer.

You learn summit every day.
Last edited by oldclaypaws on Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:18 pm

see, google is your friend
for those that cant

http://www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk/uplo ... des/89.pdf
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Re: eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:37 pm

I notice for larger Deer such as Roe, a single slug such as a Foster is preferred, by that needs a full firearms certificate, yes ? You also have to restrict it to the immediate area where damage has occurred, and as a pest control action its illegal for the meat to enter the food chain.

Not so simples ? Be easier to use a high power crossbow or compound bow with a broadhead on the quiet. (But I never said that).
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Re: eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:19 pm

oldclaypaws wrote:I notice for larger Deer such as Roe, a single slug such as a Foster is preferred, by that needs a full firearms certificate, yes ? You also have to restrict it to the immediate area where damage has occurred, and as a pest control action its illegal for the meat to enter the food chain.

Not so simples ? Be easier to use a high power crossbow or compound bow with a broadhead on the quiet. (But I never said that).


what goes on in the woods, stays in the woods :roll:

I've been offered 4 halves of Roe for £120, is that too dear
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Re: eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Postby SimonFisher » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:39 pm

Dexter's Shed wrote:I've been offered 4 halves of Roe for £120, is that too dear

I don't about it being too dear, but it's certainly two deer. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: eligibility for English Woodland Grant Scheme

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:54 pm

Or as the Ferryman on the River Styx said, for three gold Staters I'll take you across, that's Tui Dia

(that ones for fellow Latin scholars)

Sorry, these pseudo-classicist witticisms likely fall on deaf plebeian ears. Seutonius told me I was wasted on you lot.
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