§ Mr. Lidington
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the reasons are for the deferral of the start of the woodland creation grants scheme until 2006–07. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
The Forestry Commission announced in March 2003 that as a result of ongoing reviews, the need to properly consult on their proposals and to gain the necessary EU clearance the new grant scheme, which includes woodland creation grants, would not be introduced before 2005.1945W
Subject to EU approval of the new English Woodland Grant Scheme it is expected that applications for grant woodland creation grants will be accepted by the Forestry Commission from mid 2005. This will he in time for planting to take place in the 2005/06 planting season, with grant payments being made from April 2006.