This priority is for projects that will increase forestry productivity. The main aims are to:

  • increase economic return through more efficient felling and extraction
  • add value to felled timber by primary processing
  • deliver permanent new supply chains and jobs
  • restore regular management to local woodlands

Who: owners or tenants of private forestry holdings / micro, small and medium-sized forestry contracting businesses

Grant limits: £5,000 – £100,000 although a higher grant may be awarded for projects that show exceptional value for money.  An exceptional project must show high direct economic outputs or have a strong fit with Oxfordshire LEADER local priorities. The maximum grant intervention rate is 40%.

Please note that you’ll need to send us a copy of your woodland management plan approved by the Forestry Commission with their full application if you are a private forest holder with more than 10ha of woodland. Private forest holders of forests less than 10ha cannot apply for funding solely for their own forest holdings under this priority, but could apply if they will be working as contractors on other holdings too.

Please download the Applicant Handbook (PDF 968kb) to find out more about what costs are eligible.


Oxfordshire Local Action Group will be particularly interested in projects that:

  • encourage an increase in the supply and use of local wood and reduce our carbon footprint
  • encourage an increase in the demand for local wood

Some of the projects we funded last time:

Farmer Gow’s Ltd firewood processor Purchase of a firewood processor to reduce processing time and meet demand. This meant that the applicant was able to free up time for forestry works and marketing, thereby reducing the cost of sales. In addition, the new processor brought significant improvement to the health and safety of those operating it.

Face North ForestrySmall-scale forestry contracting, woodland management and surveying, firewood and timber sales. Services to include management advice, surveying and mapping, marketing and sale of standing and felled timber, on-site conversion of timber, planting, tending, scrub and coarse vegetation control, fencing, infrastructure improvements, timber buying and tree safety assessments, processing and sales of firewood.

David Layton has been in the timber and wood business for over two decades, but a couple of years ago faced the issue of not being able to keep up with growing demand.

David says: “Before Leader we had an old tractor-driven log-splitter and it took a day and a half to fill a container. This new cutter, splitter and loader does the same job in half an hour – with a lot less back ache!”

After 20 years of building up his business, forester and firewood supplier Rod Wilson needed to invest to keep up with soaring demand. LEADER helped to pay for state-of-the-art processing machinery, which produces 200 extra tonnes of firewood per year.

The new equipment also means that local woodlands have been brought back into productive management – protecting wildlife, providing fuel and improving public access.

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