By Ian Ashbridge

WOODLAND MANAGEMENT under the Entry Level Stewardship scheme will not prevent farmers claiming from the English Woodland Grant Scheme, says consultant Strutt & Parker.

The Forestry Commission has indicated there will be no conflict between ELS woodland edge management and the new woodland scheme expected this summer.

Strutt & Parker”s Tom Walker-Smith said that while full details were not yet known, basic woodland management could earn farmers another 30/ha (12/acre) over the total area of woodland on their holding. “Confusion arose through the assumption that ELS was an alternative to EWGS,” he said.

 Central features of the EWGS would be similar to the old Woodland Grant Scheme, closed to new entrants last year, and would include tasks such as maintaining woodland rides and opening up tracks, said Mr Walker-Smith.

 “The scheme is designed to reimburse farmers for costs incurred in carrying out work to benefit woodland, so claimants could have to produce costings to justify their payments,” he added.

 ian.ashbridge@rbi.co.uk