§ Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what grants are available for tree planting; and to what extent the level of any grant is governed by the proposed density of tree cover.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
A wide range of grants is available to encourage amenity and commercial planting. Through its local government partners the Countryside Commission offers aid for the planting of amenity trees on land up to 0.25 hectares. Grant is not governed by the planned density of cover, but the commission offers general guidance on spacing.
Local authorities may also offer planting grants at their own discretion.
On larger sites the Forestry Commission aids planting through the woodland grant scheme. The maximum tree spacings normally acceptable for this grant are 2.1 m for conifers and 3 m for broadleaves. Where the commission considers it silviculturally acceptable, proposals to plant at wider spacings may be permitted and grant paid on a pro rata basis.
Grants are also available from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for planting shelter belts of trees. The rate of grant is not dependent on the density of planting.