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  • Shepherd Partnership

Tree Health and Animal Welfare

Improvements made to the Tree Health Pilot scheme

DEFRA have improved the support available to farmers and land managers dealing with tree pest and disease issues through the Tree Health Pilot. The innovative Pilot will run until 2024. It provides land managers with grants, guidance and advice to reduce the impacts of tree pests and diseases, and build the resilience of England’s trees, woodlands and forests ahead of the rollout of a future nationwide Tree Health Scheme. The Pilot is currently available in London, the South East, the North West and the West Midlands.

Following a successful first year, in which more than 80 expressions of interest were received, Defra has worked with the Forestry Commission to extensively evaluate user feedback and make several key changes to the scheme.

They have:

  • increased payment rates for the Tree Health Pilot in line with rises for Countryside Stewardship

  • simplified forms, which will mean swifter action to reduce the spread of tree pests and diseases and quicker access to payments

  • introduced a new biosecurity advice package for grant holders, which covers training and assistance with creating bespoke biosecurity management plan

Read their blog post about the announcement for more detail. To learn how the new payments process works and the maximum cap is calculated, please visit the Tree Health Pilot guidance page on GOV.UK.

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