§ Mr. Hardy
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the expenditure incurred in providing grants in support of private forestry in each of the last five years with his estimate for 1976–77 and the number of acres of planting or replanting covered by grant in each of those years.
§ Mr. Strang
Figures for the last five completed years are as follows:
Year ended Grant expenditure incurred (£)* Area planted and replanted (acres) 31st March 1971 … 1,926,479 56,100 31st March 1972 … 2,129,232 59,300 31st March 1973 … 2,105,823 58,750 31st March 1974 … 2,005,854 56,300 31st March 1975 … 1,881,274 52,750 * Includes planting grants and management grants
Expenditure for the present financial year is expected to be about £1.6 million; this would imply planting and replanting of the order of 40,000 acres. Firm figures will not be available until some time after the end of the financial year.
On the assumption that the level of activity is unlikely to vary greatly, expenditure for 1976–77 is also estimated at £16 million. However, as I pointed out to my hon. Friend in my reply of 2nd March 1976—[Vol. 906, c. 495]—no accurate estimate of the level of planting by the private sector in the future can be given as this will depend upon the decisions of a great many individual woodland owners.