Application help notes: The Woodland Investment Grant

Application help notes: The Woodland Investment Grant

This programme is now closed to new applications. This application guidance is for use by Round 5 applicants who have successfully passed the PEF stage and have been invited to submit a full application to The Woodland Investment Grant for grants between £40,000 and £250,000.

Page last updated: 8 February 2024


There is not a dedicated TWIG application form. You should therefore follow the below instructions carefully to guide you in answering the questions in our standard £10,000 to £250,000 grant application form on the portal. Please use this alongside the TWIG Programme Application Guidance.

Use this page to:  

  • see what questions appear in the application
  • get guidance on how best to answer the application questions
  • get guidance on how to fit the TWIG Programme criteria into our standard application form

Each question has a word limit; however, you don’t need to reach this. Only include the information we ask for that is relevant to your project.

About your vision

Describe what your organisation would like to achieve through your project.

We will use your answer to tell people about your project, including our decision makers.  

We publish details of applications and grant awards on our website and in public databases. This is in line with our commitment to transparency and open data principles. We will use the information you have provided when answering this question to describe your project.

Tell us what you hope to achieve and what you hope the legacy of your project will be.

As part of the National Forest programme, there are three additional themes. Applicants should describe how the project will contribute to at least one of these themes:

  • climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • supporting tourism and the economy
  • supporting or delivering skills and training

For your TWIG application, please also consider:

  • how you think your idea will contribute to the development of the National Forest network
  • how have you referenced UK Forestry Standards (UKFS), and how do they impact on your proposal
  • describe what you believe to be the barriers to participation in your particular community
  • how individuals and communities will be supported to become involved
  • how the work proposed will make a difference to individuals, communities and the natural environment
  • how will you make sure any plans for the future are owned and delivered for the community, by the community
  • What you will be spending the funding on (in general). There is additional space for a full budget later on in the application form. Remember that a maximum of 25% of this grant can be used for revenue purposes.
  • how you will include the Welsh language and/or community languages within your project

[Text field – 150 words]

About your heritage focus

Tell us about the heritage you will focus on as part of this project.

Provide a description of the natural heritage as it is today. You should include information such as:

  • location
  • current condition of the land
  • any important or protected species or features
  • size of the site
  • current uses
  • community involvement and how they will benefit

You should consider Natural Resources Wales (NRW) area statement maps, UK Forestry Standard guidance and the Woodland Opportunity Map 2021 for guidance on the likely sensitivities on a proposed site for new planting.

A Woodland Creation Plan is required for new woodlands.

All projects will need a Forest Management Plan (FMP), which make sure that:

  • woodlands are managed to the principles of the UK Forestry Standard
  • woodlands demonstrate delivery of the National Forest essential criteria of ‘good quality, well designed and managed resilient woodlands’

The detail in the plan can be proportionate to the size of the project – the larger the site, the more detail we would expect to see in your plan.

If you do not have a FMP, you can apply for costs to develop your plan, in this case please use the Forest Management Plan template and complete the two sections titled:

  • FMP Applicant
  • Work Programme Summary

Do not use this section to tell us about your project, or about what will happen during your project. We will ask you about this later in the application.  

[Text field – 500 words]

Is this heritage at risk?

You should answer yes to this question and provide the information below.

Explain why the heritage is under threat, how it is currently managed and by who, and what actions have been taken (if any) to minimise the risk.

Please consider: is nature (habitats and species) on the site and/or in your local area at risk and how this project will help.

Before you apply, you must consider if an environmental impact assessment is required for your proposals. Please demonstrate that you have checked the relevant criteria and that the proposals do not fall within those specified types required for an EIA. If an Environmental Impact Assessment is required, please tell us the outcome or provide evidence that you have at least applied for one.

[Text field – 500 words]

About your project

What is the title of your project?

Give us a title or name we can refer to your project by.

Please start your project title/name with #COED2. For example, #COED2 Beddgelert or #COED2 Bangor Woodland Creation.

This helps us to correctly identify your application, and failure to do this could mean your application misses the deadline.

This will be seen by our decision makers, and if your application is successful, will be used in any public posts made about your project and will be published on our website. Make sure you choose a title that you are happy for a wide range of people to see.

We encourage you to keep your title short and descriptive.  

[Text input – 255 characters]

When will your project happen?

Give us a timeframe for your project.

You should receive a decision on your TWIG application in June 2024.

For this round of the TWIG Programme, your project must be completed by 26 June 2026.

Where is your project taking place?

If your project is taking place at more than one site, tell us the address where most of your project will take place. If you have What Three Words you can share this to give us an exact location.

  • the same place as my organisation address [Tick box]
  • somewhere else [Tick box]

If somewhere else:

Tell us your project’s address.

We understand that you might not have a postcode. Tell us the closest postcode to your project’s location.

Have you received any advice from us about this project?

You should answer yes to this question and include any feedback you received from us on your Project Enquiry Form (PEF) application. You will have an opportunity in the next question to tell us about any advice you have received from anyone outside of the Heritage Fund.

[Text field – 500 words]

Have you received any advice from anyone else about this project?  

You should answer yes to this question. Please include under this question advice you have received from NRW, Llais y Goedwig, Cadw, County Council Countryside Service or other relevant community organisations in your locality. In particular, please mention any support you have received from NRW Woodland liaison officers about the National Forest for Wales programme and how to demonstrate the outcomes.

Also tell us if you have received any other specialist advice about your project.

This could include:  

  • any consultation you have done with your local community and those who will be involved in your project
  • any project proposal advice, such as from an architect or conservator  
  • any pre-application advice on planning and/or listed building consent matters, such as from your local authority or an archaeologist  
  • advice about how to address wellbeing for your project participants, such as from a charity or local group who can provide support which is relevant to their lived experience

[Text field – 500 words]

Tell us what you will do during your project.

Provide an overview of what you will do during your project.  

For example, describe any:

  • activities that you will be doing
  • events that you will be hosting  
  • items or resources that you will be creating
  • heritage items or buildings you will be restoring
  • landscapes you will be improving

This helps us to understand what your project is all about.

Your project plan should provide more detailed information about each element of your project.

[Text field – 500 words]

Will capital works be part of your project?

You should answer yes to this question. Please detail the work and costs involved remembering that a maximum of 25% of this grant is revenue funding. In addition, up to 10% of the capital element may be used for project planning and other direct project implementation costs.

Capital works are defined as works that create or improve an asset. These can include physical works to landscapes, nature and buildings, repair, conservation, new build, digitisation, or work to stabilise the condition of objects.

Examples of capital work:

  • tree planting
  • repairs to a historic building
  • installing interpretation panels

The TWIG Programme is for landowners and/or those with full management control of land, so it is important that you tell us who owns the heritage.

If your organisation owns the heritage, tell us:

  • if your organisation has the freehold of the building or land, or own the heritage items outright
  • if your organisation has the lease of the building or land and how many years are left to run on the lease
  • If your organisation has, or is planning to take out, a mortgage or other loans secured on the building or land, or heritage item. If so, give us details of the lender and the amount of the mortgage or loan. If you have one, upload an ownership document.

If a partner organisation owns the heritage, tell us:

  • the name of the partner organisation
  • if the project partner has the freehold of the building or land, or own outright the heritage items
  • if the project partner has the lease of the building or land and how many years are left to run on the lease
  • if the project partner has, or is planning to take out, a mortgage or other loans secured on the building or land, or heritage item
  • if so, give us details of the lender and the amount of the mortgage or loan

[Text field – 500 words]

Land ownership must be evidenced as part of the TWIG Programme. We need to see an up-to-date office copy from the Land Registry showing that you own the land (or for unregistered land, the relevant deeds).

Leased land must be evidenced and we need to see a copy of the lease, alongside the land owners consent that you may undertake the proposed project.

You must hold a lease for as long as is applicable to the options listed below, or the landowner needs to be signed up to the Terms of Grant:

  • Not for profit organisation: your lease must have five years left to run after the Project Completion Date
  • Private Owner: your lease must have at least ten years left to run after the Project Completion Date

Upload ownership document.

[Choose file]

Do you need any permission to carry out the capital works?

You should answer yes to this question. It is expected that all applicants will get the necessary consents or permissions from local authority, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), or other bodies – such as Cadw – prior to submission of an application.

If you do not have all of your permissions/consents in place, you need to provide evidence that you have applied for consent or permission.

Refer to the TWIG programme supporting documents page to download the Woodlands plan and consents checklist. This should be submitted with your application.

Examples of what might need permission:

  • agreement from the owner of a heritage asset
  • access rights from a landowner
  • listed buildings consent
  • planning permission from the council
  • consent to record audio or take photographs of individuals

Has a condition survey taken place in the last five years?

Please let us know of any ecological or archaeological surveys that have been completed on the land that are not covered by your Environmental Impact Assessment.

[Text field – 500 words]

Are there any legal conditions, restrictions or covenants associated with the heritage which may affect your project?

Tell us if the register of title or other ownership documents contain any restrictions or limitation on its use or ownership, or if it requires any consents for any dealings. If so, you will need to give us the full details and evidence that these are satisfied.

This could include:

  • a Restrictive Covenant limiting the type of use for the land or property
  • a restriction giving another party a right to be notified of any dealing or state conditions that would need to be resolved before the property is sold

[Text field – 500 words]

Is this heritage on the at Risk Register?

Please answer no to this question.

Will you be creating any digital works as part of your project?  

Please answer no to this question.

Will you be acquiring any buildings, land or heritage items as part of your project?

Please answer no to this question. Acquisition of land is not permitted under this scheme. 

Our funding is subject to the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Tell us whether you consider the funding applied for to be a Subsidy within the Act and any advice you may have taken.  

If your application is successful, it is important to remember our grant comes from public funds and may be subject to the Subsidy Control Act 2022.  

[Text field – 500 words]

How will you maintain the benefits of your project and meet any related costs?

Tell us how you will manage the benefits of your project after the funding ends.

This is where you describe your ongoing maintenance plan for the site. A draft Maintenance Plan should be attached to the application and can be reviewed and resubmitted during the project lifetime. You can include the costs of developing the plan in your application.

Remember: we cannot provide further funding after the project. However, we can make a single maintenance payment for the five years after the project funding ends. This is subject to us receiving a fully developed and suitable maintenance plan. Remember to include 5 years of post-project delivery maintenance costs in your project costs.

[Text field – 500 words]

About the need for your project

Why does your project need to happen?

This fund is competitive and you will need to explain your motivations for making this application.

What is it about the location that makes this the right thing to do now?

For example:

  • Are there particular development pressures on the land?
  • Is there a one-off opportunity to re-connect isolated woodlands?
  • Has the community been eager to improve or create a woodland in their area?

[Text field – 500 words]

Is there a specific community your project is dedicated to serving? Select any that apply.

Please select from the list below to reflect who your project will support. Choose any and all that apply, or choose ‘none of the above’ if this does not apply to your project.

If you choose the option ‘specific groups who are not included already’, please tell us more about these groups or communities.  

If you are working with vulnerable people as part of your project, you will need to have safe-guarding policies and practices in place. You should also ensure that wellbeing for project staff, participants and visitors is considered throughout your project.

You should make reasonable adjustments to the way you deliver your project or services so that everyone can participate.

  • Communities experiencing ethnic or racial inequity, discrimination or inequality [Tick box]
  • Faith communities [Tick box]
  • People who have migrated and/or have experience of the immigration system [Tick box]
  • d/Deaf, disabled, blind, partially sighted and/or neurodivergent people [Tick box]
  • Older people (65 and over) [Tick box]
  • Younger people (under 25) [Tick box]  
  • Women and girls [Tick box]  
  • LGBTQ+ people [Tick box]  
  • People who are educationally or economically disadvantaged [Tick box]  
  • Specific groups that are not included already [Tick box]  
  • None of the above [Tick box]

Who else have you approached about funding your project?

Tell us about any other funding:  

  • you have secured to help towards the cost of your project
  • you are planning to apply for to support this project
  • you will raise through fundraising or crowdsourcing

Tell us if you have raised any non-cash contributions to help you deliver your project.  

While we can fund the total cost of a project, you should explain why you are not able to raise any other funding from either your own resources or other sources.

[Text field – 500 words]

Our investment principles

Our four investment principles will guide all our grant decision making under our 10-year strategy, Heritage 2033.

Our investment principles are:

  • saving heritage
  • protecting the environment
  • inclusion, access and participation
  • organisational sustainability

For the TWIG programme - by meeting the three essential National Forest outcomes and any of the highly desirable outcomes that are relevant to your project, you are naturally meeting one or more of our Investment Principles.

To complete this section of the application form, please fill out the National Forest Outcomes template which is a mandatory supporting document for the TWIG Programme. Refer to the ‘How will we assess applications?’ section of the TWIG Application Guidance which provides further detail on the National Forest outcomes. Remember to submit this document with your application.

In the application form under this section, you will be asked to fill out information under any Investment Principle that is relevant to your project. For your TWIG project, please follow the instructions below to complete this section:

  • add N/A under the ‘How your project will save heritage’ Investment Principle
  • add N/A under the ‘How your project will protect the environment’ Investment Principle
  • insert under the ‘Explain how your project will increase inclusion, access and participation Investment Principle’ - ‘Refer to National Forest Outcomes Supporting document’
  • add N/A under the ‘How your project will improve your organisational sustainability’ Investment Principle
  • please continue with your application form but remember to submit your National Forest outcomes template along with the other supporting documents at the end of the application form 

Delivering your project

How is your organisation best placed to deliver this project?  

Tell us why specifically your organisation should run this project.  

This may include:

  • any experience your organisation has in running similar projects
  • staff and/or Board members and Trustees’ knowledge and skills
  • your organisation’s capacity to deliver the project at the same time as your usual work
  • your connections with other relevant projects or organisations

[Text field – 500 words]

How will you manage running your project?

Tell us how your project will be managed day to day and about the people involved.

This should include telling us:

  • who will make decisions, the experience of the people involved and their roles in the project
  • about staff posts, apprentices, traineeships, or any other paid opportunities, that your project will create
  • about any volunteering opportunities your project will create. Volunteers are people who give up their time for free to help deliver your project
  • if you are moving an existing staff member into a post created by this project or are extending the hours of an existing staff member to work on the project, tell us how they are qualified for the role

Remember, you must openly advertise all new staff posts, unless you are moving an existing staff member into a post created by this project or are extending the hours of an existing staff member to work on the project.

[Text field – 500 words]

Will your project be delivered by a partnership?

If yes, tell us who your partners are, the nature of your partnerships and how you will work together.

If you are working with any other organisations to carry out your project, we would like to see your partnership agreement. If you have one, you will be able to upload it here.

This document should outline all partner's roles and responsibilities and should be signed by all parties. This agreement should reflect the needs of your project and you may need to seek independent advice.

You do not need to provide a partnership agreement unless another organisation is delivering a significant part of your project.

[Text field – 500 words]

How will you evaluate your project?

You must evaluate your project and provide a written evaluation report once you finish your project.  

You will need to create an evaluation plan at the start of your project. This will be an outline of how you are going to collect data to measure, analyse and understand what you are doing and ultimately to provide evidence about what your project has achieved.  

Tell us who will carry out your evaluation. This could be staff within your organisation or an individual or organisation who you will need to employ. You should provide a brief for this work as a supporting document.  

We would expect to see costs for your evaluation included in your project costs.

[Text field – 500 words]

Will any of your project take place in Wales?

Your entire project should take place within Wales to be eligible for the TWIG programme. You should therefore answer yes to this question. 

You must include the Welsh language in all aspects of your work.  

Please tell us how you will use the Welsh language in your project, and make sure that this information is included in your project budget and plan. Please include budget for translation costs under the 'Other' costs category in the project costs section.  

[Text field – 500 words]

Tell us about any key challenges or potential risks to your project that you have identified.

We know that all projects face challenges and risks. Tell us about the challenges or risks you have identified, which could have an impact on your project.  

Your risk register should provide more detailed information about these challenges or risks and how you will manage these.  

We would expect to see contingency within your project costs to help manage these identified challenges or risks.  

[Text field – 500 words]

Project costs

Tell us how much it will cost to deliver your project.

You should include all costs relating to your project.

Please refer to the What costs can you apply for? section of the TWIG Application guidance. Remember to include costs for Welsh translation, acknowledgement and post-project maintenance costs.

Please also fill out and upload the TWIG Programme Cost template found on the TWIG Supporting documents page. This document is mandatory and will provide a detailed breakdown of revenue and capital costs which is required with your application. 

You will need to add a new cost for each separate project cost.  

For example, if you are recruiting three new staff members to manage your project, you will need to add three different new staff costs. 

Each cost will need to have its own description and amount.

If you are claiming VAT on any of your project costs, make sure it cannot be reclaimed through other sources first. We cannot cover the costs of VAT that you can reclaim.

If your VAT status changes during your project we will reduce our contribution to the costs where you have been able to claim back the VAT.

Are you getting any cash contributions to support your project?  

Cash contributions are other funds you expect to receive towards the cost of your project. This includes any cash contribution from your own organisation.

If yes: Upload evidence. This could be a letter confirming the offer or a copy of bank statements showing the funds in your account. 

Are you getting any non-cash contributions to support your project?  

Non-cash contributions are things that you need for your project that you do not have to pay for.  

For example, the use of a room in a local business or materials being donated by a local company.  

Provide an estimate of how much this would have cost if your project had to pay for it.  

Supporting documents

Please refer to the TWIG Supporting documents page for additional documents required in addition to our standard supporting documents outlined below. These must be submitted as attachments to your application. TWIG-specific supporting documents include:

  • National Forest Outcomes template – this document is mandatory
  • a cost template – this document is mandatory
  • measuring success checklist – this will help us check how your project meets our outcomes
  • Woodlands plan and consents checklist – we would expect all relevant consents to have been applied for or underway. For more information, please refer to the section of this guidance page called ‘Actions to take before you apply’.

Please make sure you upload the following documents with your application:

  • a Woodland Creation Plan (if applicable)
  • ownership documents – these documents are mandatory
  • condition survey (if applicable)
  • forest Management Plan (FMP) – this document is mandatory
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) evidence

These can be uploaded under the ‘Evidence of Support’ section at the end of the application form. 

As part of our standard application process, you will need to provide the relevant supporting documents, outlined below.

You must provide the following mandatory documents:

  • accounts information
  • a project plan and risk register


Upload your organisation’s accounts.

You must provide your most recently audited or accountant verified accounts.

Accounts need to be:

  • in the legal name of your organisation
  • dated
  • signed with a handwritten signature. This does not include digital signatures
  • Include the title of the person who is signing them. This person must be a director, trustee, accountant, or other senior figure in your organisation.

If your organisation’s accounts are older than 18 months, you must also provide three months of your most recent bank statements. This should be the three months before the date you submit your application.  

If your organisation was set up less than 14 months ago and does not have a set of audited accounts, you must provide your last three bank statements or a letter from your bank confirming that your organisation has opened a bank account.

We do not need to see your accounts if you are a public organisation, for example a local authority or university.  

Upload your accounts [Choose file]

Project plan and risk register

Upload your project plan and risk register.

All projects must submit a project plan and risk register. We recommend you use the template linked on this part of the application form.

Upload your project plan and risk register [Choose files]

Job descriptions

If applicable, upload job descriptions for any new staff or apprentices.

If you plan to recruit new staff or apprentices to help you deliver your project, you need to provide a job description for each new post. If you are moving a current member of staff into a project role, or extending their hours to support the project, you still need to provide a job description.

Each job description should include the proposed salary and working hours.

Upload any job descriptions [Choose file]


If applicable, upload briefs for any commissioned work.

Briefs describe any work you plan to commission during your project.  

If you are commissioning work, for example from an artist or architect, then you should provide a brief. The brief should describe the works, how long they will take, and how much they will cost.  

You can find a template brief on our website.

Upload any briefs for work [Choose file]

Full cost recovery

If applicable, upload calculations for full cost recovery.

If you have included full cost recovery as a cost heading in your project costs, you must provide a document that shows how you have calculated this.

Costs should be proportionate to the time or resources used for your project. We can also cover a proportion of the cost of an existing member of staff, as long as they are not working exclusively on the funded project in a new post.

Upload your full cost recovery calculation [Choose file]


If applicable, upload project images.

Provide up to six images that help illustrate your project.  

This could include:

  • an image of a map of the area showing the locations involved in your project, if it is taking place across more than one place or across a large area.

Please make sure you have all the permissions required to share these with us, as we may use these to tell people about your project, including our decision makers. We might also use any images you send us to promote your project publicly.  

Upload any images [Choose file]

Evidence of support

Please use this section to upload any additional TWIG-specific supporting documents. You can upload up to six additional documents.

Upload any evidence of support [Choose file]

Follow the steps on the portal to submit your application.

You will be shown a summary of all your answers.  

You will also have the option to go back and change an answer if needed.

What happens next

Once you have submitted your application:

  1. We will send you an email soon with a project reference number.
  2. We will check your application and the information provided, to make sure we have everything we need to assess your application. This will include checking you have provided all the appropriate supporting documents.
  3. We may contact you to request more information or documents if needed.  
  4. We will check your application and once we have everything we need to assess your application, we will let you know our decision in early June 2024.

Guidance updates

We will regularly review this guidance and respond to user feedback. We reserve the right to make changes as required. We will communicate any changes as quickly as possible via this webpage.