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ELM Test & Trial

Photo: John Morris / Small Woods

Photo: John Morris / Small Woods


What is Environment Land Management? 

Environmental Land Management (ELM) will be the post-Brexit support package in England that replaces the Countryside Stewardship scheme, starting in 2024.

Small Woods ran a trial to explore the views of owners of small woods in England in order to find ways to bring more woods into beneficial management. This study is part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Tests and Trials programme.  


Our online survey has now closed

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Thank you for taking part in out Small Woods ELMS Test & Trial survey which ran for six weeks and closed at the end of August 2021. More than 500 small woodland owners responded sharing their attitudes on incentives, management plans, advice and advisory services, and collaboration. The results were included in our reports to Defra and will make the case for support and will hopefully influence policy in future. It compared the views of farmers with small woods and those of other private woodland owners.

Your views do count so thank you for sharing your perspective with us!

Bringing more small woods back into positive and beneficial management

The Small Woods Test and Trial investigated ways to bring more small woods back into positive and beneficial management, and what will enable more small woods to receive support through environmental land management. Our final report was accepted by Defra in January 2022. It considered what other incentives and advisory services are needed to support the creation and management of small woods and made recommendations to Defra. Our intention is to include a wider range of landowners and managers in the new scheme.

We held workshops to carry out research in seven regions of England, with coordinators and local groups in these areas:

  • Cotswolds AONB.
  • Cumbria – Eden Valley.
  • Eastern Claylands Treescapes, Suffolk
  • Marches – Herefordshire and Shropshire.
  • North East Devon – Biosphere Area, plus Exmoor National Park
  • South West Peak & Churnet Valley.
  • South East – Surrey Hills AONB, plus the Weald AONB 

The scope of the work included woodland management plans, advice and advisory services, collaboration, biodiversity improvements, landscape improvements, resilience to climate change, reducing flooding and improving water quality, and more.


Get in touch

For more information contact John Morris, below:

John Morris - Project Manager test and Trials (ELMS)

John Morris - Project Manager Test and Trials (ELM)

John Morris
Project Manager - Small Woods Test and Trials (ELM)
[email protected]
Office: 01952 432769 

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Spoon Carving

  • The Green Wood Centre, Coalbrookdale, TF8 7DR
  • 13 Aug 2022 - 13 Aug 2022
Spoon carving is a great way to start carving and to learn about the properties of wood. Each spoon is completely unique and they make great presents! more...

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Summer WoodsMeet

  • Online 11am - 12.30pm
  • 11 Aug 2022 - 11 Aug 2022
Come along to our Summer Woodsmeet! Network with other woodland owners, hear about what Small Woods is up to and find out how you can contribute. Darllen rhagor...