Section 1: the programme
1a. There are a number of different routes into the Plant! programme. The planting scheme does not have to have been already approved via the Glastir WC grant scheme but the Host Organisation must employ the services of a professional approved Management Planner to oversee the design, consultation, establishment, and future maintenance of the site and show that the Plant! programme will provide additionality.
1b. The Plant! programme will not fund anything already covered by an existing grant. The programme will fund additional works which can include: access works and a five year maintenance grant period on the established trees over and above anything available through other sources of funding including Glastir, interpretation boards, event support, and the issue and postage costs associated with the issue of an individual certificate for each child born or adopted in Wales.
1c. Applications will be considered towards the cost of land purchase where in the long term management costs do not create an unfunded burden on NRW. The amount will be agreed on a case by case basis depending on geographical and programme need and any such application must ensure the long term interest and security of the public money used.
1d. Prior approval of the NRW Plant! Programme Manager must be obtained for any
publications promoting Plant! and use of the programme and partner logos.
1e. Additionality and added value - certificates can be issued on trees within other projects and programmes, where the tree planting has been directly funded by Welsh Government. In these cases the Plant! programme funding must show additionality and will support ONS, postage costs, and provision of interpretation boards, contribute to improved access and parking, information, community events, communications, staff costs, additional costs associated with difficult sites, fencing, and the use of a professional planner.
Section 2: access
2a. Sites must be readily accessible with easy and secure access from a public road.
2b. Permanent free public access must be guaranteed and welcome throughout the
life of the scheme.
2c. The principles of least restrictive access should be employed throughout the scheme, where geography and terrain allow.
2d. There must be at least one public entrance which is designed to be welcoming and easy to use, and maintained to a high standard.
2e. There must be public car parking available for at least 4 cars within 5 minutes of easy and safe walking distance of one site entrance.
2f. Access to the site can be provided by an existing Public Right of Way to and through the Plant! site, or by the construction and maintenance of a permissive path. Access on foot must be provided as a minimum although applicants can choose to utilise a PRoW or permissive path that allows horse-riders and cyclists access as well.
2g. If appropriate the Host Organisation must agree to and make arrangements to install and maintain Plant! programme way markers in all sites over 3ha in size, to guide visitors from main access points or car parking to and around the Plant! planting area(s).
Section 3: the site – planting
3a. Normal conditions of the scheme dictate that land must be suitable and appropriate for the creation of new native woodland and meet the site assessment criteria. The site must be agreed and established using an approved Management Planner, who can be funded either through Plant! or another funding source. If already funded via a GWC plan, this will not be funded by Plant!
3b. If there is not enough land available for new planting, re-stock sites felled under a Plant Health notice can be used to ensure certificate issue. Planting must consist of mainly native broadleaf species and the number of trees planted must equate to no more than10% of the total number of trees planted in the scheme depending on operational need. This criteria is a short term measure and will be reviewed regularly.
3c. Normal conditions of the scheme dictate the land must be in a condition suitable for tree planting at a reasonable cost, however additional costs will be considered where additional benefits and value can be proved. For example some regeneration or brown field sites can be expensive to establish but can provide huge community benefit in areas of deprivation.
3d. The ideal minimum size for native woodland creation is 3 hectares but preference will be given to sites with at least 10 hectares of plantable land. However a significant number of individual trees in an urban setting will be considered to provide additional benefits e.g. sustainable urban drainage and/or improved green infrastructure and connectivity.
3e. The site owner will enter into a legal agreement with Natural Resources Wales which will confirm the number and species of trees which must be planted in each planting season in order to plan certificate issue.
3f. The layout of the planting scheme, the provision for public access and the choice and mixture of native species needs to be appropriate to the site and the objectives of the Plant! programme.
3g. The density of trees must reflect new native woodland best practice guidelines. The provenance of all planting stock must be from region 303 (Wales) or 304 (Borders and East Wales) and suitable for the site.
3h. As well as standard planting, individual standard hedgerow trees of appropriate provenance and locally appropriate fruit trees can be included in the scheme as an element of the overall tree number and will have certificates issued against them as agreed in the contract.
3i. Other species of non-broadleaf tree will be considered as appropriate. Up to 10% of the overall tree number can be included in order to provide future site resilience.
3j. Any carbon credits will remain with the site owner and will not be claimed by the Plant! programme. However the Plant! programme will highlight the carbon benefits of the scheme when appropriate.
Section 4: the host/site owner
4a. The Host Organisation is expected to make a contribution of time and effort towards the Plant! programme through encouraging volunteer and public participation, is expected to support the delivery of the Plant! programme outcomes and act in the spirit of the scheme.
4b. The Host Organisation must have security of tenure, either through ownership or a lease or management agreement that runs for a minimum of 25 years that gives the Host Organisation the right to enter into a partnership agreement for the delivery of the programme which will legally contract them to provide public access for 25 years after the grant has been paid.
4c. Private land owners will be considered providing they can provide evidence of adherence to Scheme Rules 4a, b, e and f and preferably have PRoW on the proposed land.
4d. The Host Organisation will: Organise an on-site public consultation meeting to consider the planning and design of the new native woodland ensuring EIA, EqIA and other consents are met.
4e. The Host Organisation will: Run at least one public tree planting event on the commencement of planting the site.
4f. The Host Organisation will: Hold at least one funded community engagement event every year of the 5 years of the programme agreement as per a site Communications Plan.
4g. The Host Organisation must agree to the erection and maintenance of a Plant! site interpretation board at the main site entrance.
4h. The Host Organisation will ensure a maintenance contract of at least 3 and up to 5 years duration must be let to a suitable professional contractor, following the establishment of the trees.
4i. The Host Organisation is responsible for supervising the maintenance contractor and for ensuring that maintenance is carried out to the agreed specification.
4j. The Host Organisation must agree to provide the NRW Programme Manager and Communications Team with suitable articles and photographs for bilingual publishing.