The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare receives a small amount of central funding to coordinate The NHS Forest project in the UK. At present the project has a shortfall of core funding. Although we have received financial support for a part-time person jointly from The Forestry Commission and Natural England for the pilot phase in 2009, this funding has finished and we are currently seeking funds. We were recently chosen by the Innovation Exchange to present The NHS Forest at a Festival of Ideas and have had a huge amount of positive feedback for it. If you know of any sponsor or other funder who might be interested in this high-profile national project, do please contact us on 01865 515811 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Each healthcare site finds funding for its own tree planting – either from internal funds, or from grants – which may be local or national. Depending on what you want to do, it may not be very costly because the trees themselves are not usually expensive; but on bigger sites the fencing, paths and elements such as bridges can add up. Don’t let that stop you; it will be worth every penny! There are several funds available, not only for new tree planting but also for improving existing wooded areas, including fencing and for increasing access to trees including paths and signage.
Here are some of the grants we know about: (if you know of others not on this list please email them to us).
Potential NHS funding sources include internal money from Estates’ grounds budget, from the clinical budgets by emphasising the health benefits to patients, or from HR because improved greenspace at work has been shown to enhance staff morale and improve staff retention. It is also possible that there will be a Foundation or other charity attached to the healthcare organisation which is happy to fund such a widely beneficial scheme. In some cases, a legacy or funds from a local benefactor might provide funds to sponsor the scheme and this can be recognised on the signage.
Some local councils offer support for small scale woodland creation schemes, anything from 25 free trees to grants of up to £500. Contact your Local Authorities to find out what is available in your area. It may also be possible for the NHS organisation and the LA to agree on joint funding for the whole project because of the benefits of the scheme to the wider health of the whole community, particularly given the shift of Public Health into LAs.
If an NHS site has an associated volunteer-run community group, or is planning to establish such a group, these groups can apply for numerous grants, which could go towards planting costs and the ongoing maintenance, promotion and enjoyment of the site. Funders will usually want to see that these groups have an independent constitution and their own bank account, and often require land to have public access. For example, these groups can apply for a Lottery ‘Awards for All’ grant of between £300 and £10,000.
Awards for All will fund applications for sport, art, community, environment, heritage, education or health related activities. It will fund projects that support community activity, extend access and participation in local groups and projects, support activities that aim to be open and accessible to everyone, that increase skill and creativity by supporting the development of people and organisations, that improve people’s opportunities, welfare, environment or local facilities, for example through voluntary action, self-help projects, local projects or events. Visit: www.awardsforall.org.uk
NHS sites and community croups can also join TCV’s Community Network which offers up-to-date information on grants available.
ENGLISH WOODLAND GRANT SCHEME
Funding is available throughout England for the creation of native woodland through the Forestry Commission’s English Woodland Grant Scheme. This grant scheme offers six grant types; five grants are for the management of existing woodland and one is for woodland creation – called the Woodland Creation Grant.
To be eligible for the Woodland Creation Grant you must want to plant a minimum of 0.25 ha (no narrower than 30m on average, with 15m as an absolute minimum width at any point) and the land must not have been under woodland cover for at least 10 years. Applications must be received before the work commences.
The Forestry Commission welcomes applications between 1st May and 30th September for planting during the Autumn/Winter of that year and if appropriate subsequent years. To apply for this grant you need to be registered with the Rural Payments Agency. Application forms can be found online.
Visit: www.forestry.gov.ukNHS FOREST GUIDANCE PACK www.nhsforest.org 26
BETTER WOODLANDS FOR WALES
Funding is available throughout Wales for the creation of native woodland through the Forestry Commission Wales (FCW) grant scheme – Better Woods for Wales. This scheme will grant aid the preparation of a management plan and contribute towards its implementation in order to create or manage woodlands.
To be eligible for this scheme you must want to plant a minimum of 0.25 ha (this can be made up of a few planting areas, although each one must not be smaller than 0.1 ha or less than 12 m wide at any point) and be willing to meet certain requirements that are listed in a ‘Guide for Woodland Owners’ which can be found online.
The preparation of a management plan forms the basis of this grant. It must be completed by a Management Planner that has been approved by FCW. A list of approved Management Planners can be found online:
SCOTTISH RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
As part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme, funding is available throughout the country for the creation of native woodland through Rural Development Contracts. This funding covers a range of activities that deliver targeted environmental, social and economic benefits. A complete list of options can be found online at the Scottish Government website under Rural Priorities.
Woodland Creation is listed as option 45, and to be eligible for this you must want to plant a minimum of 0.25 ha (and it must be at least 15m wide). Your scheme must also deliver one of the Forestry Commission’s objectives which include:
• Diversifying farmed landscape
• Contributing to native woodland expansion
• Developing habitat networks to improve biodiversity
To apply for this grant you must be IACS (integrated administration control system) registered. The first stage of the application process involves filling in a statement of intent. The next stage of the process is then completing a proposal.
Funding is available throughout Northern Ireland for the creation of native woodland through the Forest Service’s Woodland Grant Scheme. This grant scheme offers a range of grant types; some grants are for the management of existing woodland and one is for woodland creation – called the ‘Woodland Grant Scheme – Establishment Grants’.
To be eligible for the Woodland Creation Grant you must want to plant a minimum of 0.2 ha (no narrower than 20m at any point). Applications must be received before the work commences. Successful landowners must agree to maintain the woodlands in accordance with good forestry practice for a minimum of 30 years.
Forest Service welcomes applications anytime in the year for planting during the Autumn/Winter of that year and, if appropriate, subsequent years. To apply for this grant you need to have a registered Department of Rural Development Business Identification Number. Application forms can be found online.
If you are looking for funds from your healthcare organisation, or looking to persuade someone of the value of becoming part of the NHS Forest, please see Evidence of benefits for evidence to support your funding proposals.
Also, see the ‘[Why become part of …] page.