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How to use the EWCO (England Woodland Creation Offer) Checker Tool
How to use the EWCO (England Woodland Creation Offer) Checker Tool

Use the EWCO Checker Tool to quickly identify woodland creation sites and potential uplift through Woodland Carbon Code

Dan Geerah avatar
Written by Dan Geerah
Updated over a week ago

NOW LIVE: A FREE tool for landowners and rural professionals to make it simple and easy for landowners to understand where they may have potentially eligible sites for woodland creation, where they are eligible for the extra stackable payments through the EWCO grant funding scheme and receive an estimate of the carbon sequestration potential for new woodland on their land.

In partnership with:

  • Please note to use this service you will need a Single Business Identifier number (for how to access yours, see this guidance)

  • For full guidance on the EWCO (England Woodland Creation Offer) scheme click here

  • For full guidance on the Woodland Carbon Code click here

  • For an explanation of how our workflow interacts with other datasets, including source information, see the Data Overview section below


Video Overview

An overview of the tool and the process can be viewed here:

Step-by-step guidance

In the top left of your screen click on New/Use template.

Select the Basic Payment Scheme template.
*please note, if you cannot see Basic Payment Scheme, change your sector at the top to "other".

Select the Import method of Import from Rural Payments.

Input your SBI and select Land Covers as your dataset.

Insert your Plan name and click on Finish.

A new plan will be added to the left-hand panel.

Now go back to the New button and select Download data.

Select the EWCO Checker.

Choose a plan or create a frame. Please note that the SBI number will define the area but you can use the frame if you only want to see a section within the SBI.

Add a Plan name and SBI Number.

Click on Download Now.

Click on Back to Map.

At this point refresh your map (by refreshing the web browser or pressing "F5") - 3 new plans will be listed in the left-hand panel and you will receive an email summarising the data:

  • "AllOptions_EWCO" - a full data set of all areas contained under your SBI number that are most likely to be eligible for EWCO.

  • "Natural Colonisation_EWCO" - areas eligible to establish woodland creation through natural processes, rather than tree planting. To learn more, see here.

  • "HighValue_EWCO" - areas that achieve more than £2,800 per ha one-off stackable payments (capped at £8,000/ha).

  • "LowSensitivity_EWCO" - areas that fall within low sensitivity areas and could potentially be eligible for the Woodland Creation Fast Track. Enable the data layer "England Woodland Creation Low Sensitivity Map v4.0 (EWCO)" for full visibility of these areas. To learn more about the Fast Track, see here.

Note: if the area does not contain any "high-value", natural colonisation or low-sensitivity sites, these plans will not be created.

You can select a feature on the map and the right-hand panel will appear. This will show all of the attributes of the feature including supplement values and carbon sequestration values.

Attributes created

During the workflow, the EWCO Tool by Land App creates a number of attributes to inform the potential for the site's woodland creation.

Attribute

Description

field_affected_description (optional)

Explanation of modified field parcels (does not always apply)

TotalContributionValue£_EWCO

The total value of that field (TotalContribution x Area in hectares)

TotalAnnual£_EWCO

The total value of the annual 10-year maintenance payment (£350 x Area in hectares)

TotalContribution_perHa_EWCO

The total value, per hectare, achieved by the site based on the one-off stackable target layers (capped at £8,000 per ha)

CloseToSettlements_EWCO

Stackable value (£ per ha) of the site against NFC Social target layer

RiparianBuffers_EWCO

Stackable value (£ per ha) of the site against Keeping Rivers Cool target layer

FloodRisk_EWCO

Stackable value (£ per ha) of the site against Flood Risk target layer

WaterQuality_EWCO

Stackable value (£ per ha) of the site against Water Quality target layer

NatureRecovery_EWCO

Stackable value (£ per ha) of the site against Nature Recovery target layer

LowSensitivity_EWCO (optional)

Stackable value (£ per ha) of the site against Low Sensitivity target layer

NaturalColonisation_EWCO

Potential eligibility for the site to be established via Natural Colonisation (YES = eligibility likely, NO = not eligible)

AnnualMaintainence_perHa_EWCO

The annual 10-year maintenance payment (£350 per ha)

WCC_Description

Explanation of how the WCC values were gathered

Total_gross_Carbontco2e_100yrs_WCC

Total potential carbon sequestered by the site (hectare x cumTotalCarbonSite), over a 100-year period, using a 2050 Climate Scenario.

  • tco2e is tonnes of CO2 sequestered equivalent (which includes other gases that contribute to climate change converted to an equivalent value for CO2).

  • For the Woodland Carbon Code, 1tc02e = 1 Pending Issuance Unit (PIU) or Woodland Carbon Unit (WCU) if registered and validated/verified with the WCC.

cumTotal_gross_Carbon_perHa_100yrs_WCC

Total potential carbon sequestered by the site per hectare, over a 100-year period using a 2050 Climate Scenario

Species_Code_WCC

Codes for the tree species used for the carbon estimates

These plans can then help inform future applications.
For a breakdown of the total value of EWCO payments, you can view/download a table (for Excel) for each of the three layers by following this guide.


Next steps

You can now use your EWCO data to inform future planning by editing directly on the plans generated by the EWCO checker, or by copying selected features onto a new Woodland Creation plan.

Creating a New Woodland Creation Plan

To create a Woodland Creation Plan select the woodland blocks from the Checker Tool plans generated and copy these to a new plan. To do this you can right-click on a feature and select 'Copy to a plan'. You can select multiple features by holding down shift whilst clicking on features and then, finally, right-clicking and clicking 'Copy to a plan'. Select a pre-existing plan or create a new one.

From here, assign the feature a code that relates to your EWCO data (e.g. WC7: Tree planting - productive mixed conifer).

To do this, Select, or multi-select features and the feature details menu will appear. Click on Change to assign a use.

You can then use the Drawing Tools, to add additional capital items, such as Deer Fencing (FG9) and Deer high seats (FY1).

List of EWCO Eligible capital items available to draw in Land App using the Woodland Creation Template (please note; you must use the correct geometry when drawing the shape for the option code to be available).

EWCO Capital Item

CSS Code

Geometry

WOODLAND BLOCKS

Eligible Areas

EA1

Polygon

High Value Areas

HV1

Polygon

Tree planting - natural colonisation

NC1

Polygon

Compartment boundary

WC6

Polygon

Tree planting - productive mixed conifer

WC7

Polygon

Tree planting - native broafleaf

WC8

Polygon

TREES AND GROUND PREP

Supply and plant tree

TE4

Point

Supplement for use of individual tree wrap

TE4a

Point

Supplement for use of individual tree shelters

TE5

Point

Ground preparation (scarification for natural colonisation)

WC4

Polygon

Mulch mats

WC5

Point

Open space

OS1

Polygon

Other land

OL1

Polygon

BOUNDARY MANAGEMENT

Dry stone wall repair

BN12

Line

Stone wall top wiring

BN13

Line

Post and wire fencing

FG1

Line

Sheep netting

FG2

Line

Rabbit netting supplement

FG4

Line

Difficult site fencing supplement (eligible for stock and deer)

FG5

Line

Deer fencing

FG9

Line

Strike markers

WC2

Line

Wooden field gate

FG12

Point

Badger gate

FG14

Point

Water gates

FG15

Point

Pedestrian deer gate

FG16

Point

Pedestrian gate, bridle gate or kissing gate

FG16a

Point

Vehicle deer gate

FG17

Point

Metal field gate

WC3

Point

DEER MANAGEMENT

Deer exclosure plots

FG11

Point

Deer high seat (lean-to)

FY1

Point

Deer high seat supplement (free-standing)

FY1a

Point

Shooting mounds 3m wide x 2m high

FY1b

Point

VEGETATION MANAGEMENT

Chemical bracken control

SB4

Polygon

Mechanical bracken control

SB5

Polygon

Bracken control supplement for follow up treatment

SP3

Polygon

PROVISION OF DRINKING WATER FOR STOCK

Hard base for livestock drinkers

LV3

Point

Pasture pump and associated pipework

LV5

Point

Ram pump and associated pipework

LV6

Point

Livestock trough

LV7

Point

Pipework associated with livestock troughs

LV8

Line

NATURAL FLOOD MANAGEMENT

Small leaky woody dam (1 to 2.99 metres)

RP32

Point

Large leaky woody dam (3 to 5 metres)

RP33

Point

Validating Woodland Creation plans

  1. Access the Woodland Creation Plan Validator:

    • Navigate to the Land Apps toolbox within your Woodland Creation Plan. This is done by clicking the three dots next to your Woodland Creation template.

  2. Run the Validator:

    • Click "Run" to initiate the validation process. This instructs Land App to check your updated plan.

  3. Review the Validation Results:

    • Once validation is complete, your Woodland plan will be updated and displayed as a new layer. This layer is prefixed with the word "Valid" and includes updated payment values and carbon sequestration data. It also reassigns features to their correct Land Parcels.

  4. Identify Invalid Areas:

    • Areas of your plan that are invalid, either due to being outside your ownership or within a constraint, will be indicated in a separate "Invalid" plan and coloured red.


Informing Land Management plans

If you would like to use other templates, such as a Land Management plan for Biodiversity Net Gain assessments, we recommend duplicating only those features, from the EWCO plans, on which you want to consider future use options.

You can select or multi-select features (holding down the shift key) and copy these to a new Land Management Plan. Once selected right click and Copy to plan.

Select "Create a new Plan", use the Land Management Plan, give it a name and click on "Create a new Plan for features".

The selected feature/features will now be copied to your LMP plan.

Applying for Woodland Carbon Code

To register for the WCC you will need to register before any woodland creation activity takes place by creating an account on the UK Land Carbon Registry and submitting a completed Woodland Carbon Calculator and map.


Data Explained - Workflow

The EWCO Tool by Land App uses a series of data lookups to deliver to the end-user eligibility, and estimated value (£ under EWCO and Woodland Carbon Code).

Eligibility - Rule book

  • IF Rural Payments Land Cover = Agricultural land (permanent grassland or arable)

  • AND NOT - Any Constraints (see below)

  • = Potentially Eligible Woodland.

Additional contribution - Rule book:

  • IF Potentially Eligible Woodland

  • AND Touches:

    • EWCO - Flood Risk Management THEN Additional Contributions apply.

    • AND EWCO – Water Quality THEN Additional Contributions apply.

    • AND EWCO Biodiversity - Priority Habitat Network OR EWCO Biodiversity - Priority Species - Red Squirrel - Woodland Creation THEN Additional Contributions apply

    • AND EWCO - NfC Social THEN Additional Contributions apply.

    • AND EWCO Biodiversity - Priority Habitat Network THEN Additional Contributions apply.

    • AND Overlaps EWCO - Keeping Rivers Cool Riparian Buffers THEN Additional Contributions apply.

    • AND Touches EWCO - NfC Ammonia Emissions Capture for SSSI Protection THEN attribute created.

Hard Constraint layers used

Where EWCO is NOT recommended to be created via Land App EWCO Tool

Layer name

Constraint

Source

SSSI

All

Priority Habitat Inventory (England)

All

Scheduled Monuments

All (plus a 20-metre buffer)

England Peat Status GHG and C Storage

Only deep peat

Soft Constraint layers used

Where it is advised to seek guidance from a Local Woodland Creation Team but the area is not excluded from the EWCO Tool outputs.

Layer name

Constraint

Source

Provisional Agricultural Land Classification

Grade 1 or Grade 2

England Peat Status GHG and C Storage

Shallow peat and soil with peaty pockets

Additional Contribution layers used

Layers informing the location of potential EWCO sites, and one-off uplift payments.

Layer name

Use

Source

EWCO - Flood Risk Management

Stackable uplift payment

EWCO – Water Quality

Stackable uplift payment

EWCO - Keeping Rivers Cool Riparian Buffers

Stackable uplift payment

EWCO Biodiversity - Priority Species - Red Squirrel - Woodland Creation

Stackable uplift payment

EWCO - NfC Social

Stackable uplift payment

EWCO Biodiversity - Priority Habitat Network

Stackable uplift payment

EWCO Low Sensitivity Map v4.0

Stackable uplift payment

EWCO - NfC Ammonia Emissions Capture for SSSI Protection

Reference layer

National Forest Inventory Woodland GB 2020

Reference layer

Calculating Woodland Carbon values

To calculate a "potential woodland carbon" return, the EWCO Tool by Land App uses the "ESC" (Ecological Site Classification) Tool by Forest Research. The inputs are based on "default" values wherever possible:

Parameter

Value

climateModel

UKCP09

climateScen

A1b3q0

climateYear

2050

escVersion

4.33

wccVersion

2.4

For any suggestions or improvements, please contact support@thelandapp.com or fill in this form.

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