Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Update from Forestry Commission: EWGS application process, Larch felling moratorium and ash dieback (Chalara)

New application process

The Forestry Commission (FC) has created an online facility which allows applicants to apply for EWGS, felling licences and to submit agent authority forms. As an alternative to our paper forms applicants can now complete and submit applications via our website, which will then be sent straight to our Area offices for processing. This can save time and money on needing to print and post forms and provides a one stop shop for those who wish to carry out their work online. 

Screenshot of new application gateway
For more information on our forms and how to sign up please visit the Webforms and Guidance page of our website. To help assist you with the application process we have also created an easy to use guide which can also be viewed here. Paper forms will continue to be available to applicants as well.

Interested in Woodfuel WIG, but concerned about getting a Management Plan (WPG)?

To access Woodfuel WIG applicants must have a current management plan. However, The FC recognises this might be a stumbling block to accessing Woodfuel WIG for some applicants. Therefore, if an applicant wishes to apply for Woodfuel WIG on part of their woodland, it is acceptable to produce a management plan specifically for the area included in the WWIG.

Applicants must be aware that whilst this is acceptable for Woodfuel WIG it is not acceptable for WPG and will therefore, not be eligible for funding under the terms of WPG. In order for a management plan to be funded through WPG it must cover the entire ownership within a landscape unit. This is deemed as meeting the ‘property’ requirements as per Operations Note 3.

Larch Felling Moratorium

As with previous years the FC is introducing a moratorium on the felling of larch during the winter
months due to Phytophthora infection. Full details are available in a revised Operations Note 23. This moratorium affects the felling of larch in zone 1 only. There have been recorded outbreaks of the Phytophthora pathogen in Zone 2, but these are isolated incidences mainly associated with previous rhododendron infection. The FC has decided therefore not to extend the ban on approving larch felling to Zone 2 for this winter. The FC will resume the processing of felling licenses containing larch during May 2013.

EWGS and RDPE Transition

The current RDPE programme (2007-2013) is drawing to a close and negotiations are under way with the EU, Defra and the delivery bodies (FC/NE/RPA) to plan the transition to the next programme. The FC objective, so far as is possible, is to allow existing commitments and ongoing applications to continue with minimum change. However the following issues are highlighted to allow applicants time to plan ahead. Please note these are based on the current situation and could change. Budget pressure across the RDPE programme as a whole may mean the FC has to cease accepting applications before 31st December 2013.

Ash foliage affected by Chalara
Chalara dieback of ash (caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea)

Letters have been sent to Forestry Commission customers whose trees or woodlands may be at risk, a copy of the letter and further information are available on the dedicated Chalara webpage.

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