Tree health pilot scheme

Tree health pilot scheme

Find out how you can take part in a pilot to help slow the spread of pests and diseases in trees.

The Forestry Commission has launched a new scheme to tackle pests and diseases, researching different ways of slowing their spread in specific trees.

The pilot scheme is for people who manage specific trees or woodlands affected by specific pests and diseases in the following regions of England:

  • North West, primarily targeting Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Lake District National Park
  • South East and London, primarily targeting Kent and East Sussex
  • West Midlands, primarily targeting the Malvern Hills AONB and Shropshire Hills AONB

The trees or woodlands you manage must be one of the following:

  • ash with ash dieback
  • larch with Phytophthora ramorum
  • spruce growing in the high-risk spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) area
  • sweet chestnut with Phytophthora ramorum or sweet chestnut blight

If you’re eligible and want to take part, you’ll need to fill in an expression of interest form with some brief information about your trees and land. The Forestry Commission will then carry out an initial assessment and site visit. Based on this assessment and site visit you might be invited to make a full application.

You can apply on your own, or as a group in some situations. For example, if you and your neighbours have the same tree species with the same pest or disease, you might want to apply together. Some grants you can only apply for as a group.

Group applications must have a person, called a facilitator, who’ll have overall responsibility for the application and the work. They’ll be responsible for making sure that everyone does the work they’ve agreed to and providing evidence to the Forestry Commission.

The facilitator could be someone you nominate for your group, a private agent or an organisation such as a local council, woodland initiative or wildlife trust.

Group grants will include an hourly fee for this person to pay towards their work organising and coordinating the group work. This fee cannot exceed the total value of grants you apply for.

Full information and details of how to apply are here: