The Tree Production Innovation Fund (TPIF) has been designed to encourage the development and adoption of new technologies and ways of working that will enhance the quantity, quality and diversity of tree planting stock available for planting in England.

By 2025, the government is seeking to dramatically increase tree planting to 10,000 hectares per year in England. To meet these planting targets domestically will require a corresponding increase in the UK production of tree planting material.

Note that this funding is only available for projects talking place in England; if you are based outside England but would like to be involved, contact Defra directly to determine your eligibility.

There will be £1 million in funding made available in 2021/2022 to encourage the development and adoption of new technologies and ways of working that will enhance the quantity, quality and diversity of planting stock available for tree planting in England. Public bodies will be required to partner with private sector third party organisations to be eligible for funding. Forestry England (FE) and Forest Research (FR) are not eligible for grant funding under the TPIF.

The TPIF is looking to support projects with outputs that will better equip nurseries to supply the trees required for new woodlands and urban planting projects. Applicants will be invited to apply for between £20K and £200K in grant funding to support innovative projects that address one or more of the following challenges identified as barriers to tree nursery production.

Challenge 1

How can we make better use of available seed and vegetative planting material to maximise the quantity, quality and diversity of trees produced?

Challenge 2

How can we develop growing systems to enhance their efficiency and resilience to change, whilst delivering improved quality and diversity of product? This challenge can include activities to promote biosecurity.

Challenge 3

How can innovative environmentally sustainable weed control solutions be used to reduce reliance on herbicides?

Applying

The following groups are identified as likely potential applicants to the fund:

  • private sector nurseries, organisations and seed suppliers
  • public bodies partnered with private sector third party organisations
  • research institutes
  • universities and colleges
  • environmental NGOs (e.g. Wildlife Trusts)
  • horticultural and agricultural growers

Projects can be standalone with output(s) that will be fully developed by 27 March 2022 or pilot studies looking to establish the feasibility of larger projects set to run for up to three subsequent years, starting in 2022. Lead applicants to the fund will need to be based in the UK and the Forestry Commission welcome applications from consortia and new entrants to the sector. The first round of the fund is now open for applications, with successful projects running for a six-month period between October 2021 and March 2022.