Woodlands conservation charity opens applications for scientific research programme


Time is running out to apply for the latest round of Woodland Trust grants which could fund research to help solve the climate and nature crisis.

The UK’s largest woodland conservation charity is inviting bids for funding for a variety of projects that will address its key conservation priorities within the next two years.

The 2022 Research Grant Call is open until 23 December 2022, with funding of between £20,000 and £60,000 available for projects relevant to the conservation of UK woods and trees.

Woodland Trust conservation evidence manager Chris Nichols said “scientific evidence underpins all of our conservation activities and is invaluable”.

He added: “We’re committed to asking difficult questions and working with scientific partners through funding and collaboration to find the answers for the benefit of people and the planet, now and in the future.

“We are constantly looking for effective, credible solutions to deal with the threats that pose catastrophic consequences facing trees and woods in the UK.

“The warning signs in our recent State of the UK’s Woods and Trees report are clear. If we don’t act now, we will severely damage the UK’s ability to address the climate and nature crisis.

“Knowledge is the key to engaging people and inspiring support and we hope to see a range of strong applications.”

The Woodland Trust’s Small Research Grants will award funding for:

  • novel applied research relevant to the conservation of UK woods and trees
  • short-term, pilot or proof-of-concept research
  • helping under-represented and early-career woodland conservation researchers gain experience in leading applied research projects with a practitioner non-government organisation

The Woodland Trust is currently funding a wide range of projects on native woods and trees, including looking at woodland extent and condition, wildlife value, the benefits of woods and trees for people, threats and restoration, creation and management.

One of the many deserving projects in the previous round has seen an exciting link up with the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) where cutting edge technology is being used to study the forest response to elevated levels of CO2.

Nichols explained: ‘Supporting a diverse cohort of early-career researchers is central for our mission to plant the seeds of the next generation of conservation scientists.

“We don’t shy away from big, ambitious questions, and we’re committed to ensuring the resilience of our woods and trees to the ecological and climate changes we face.

“We’re particularly interested in applied projects that tackle the challenges and hot topics relating to protecting, creating and restoring UK woods and trees.”

For further information, and to apply for the latest round of Woodland Trust research grants, complete the application form and submit it to research@woodlandtrust.org.uk by 23 December 2022.