Legislation on financial aid to maintain and improve the ecosystemic benefits provided by forests includes an aid scheme for the restoration or maintenance of structured forest edges with a view to creating transition areas between the open ground and the forest.
Applicants must submit their application to the district authority with competent jurisdiction, which will notify them of the decision of the Nature Conservation Agency (Administration de la nature et des forêts).
Who is concerned
Anyone wishing to receive aid for the restoration or maintenance of forest edges must apply in writing to the head of the district concerned.
To receive the aid, the applicant must confirm that:
- the forest property in question is in a listed green zone. Areas where pesticides are used or where ground work has been done which degrades the soil structure (e.g. tilling and stump removal) are ineligible;
- the edge to be restored or maintained extends to a depth of no more than 15 metres. The depth of the edge must be no more than one third of the depth of the woodland in question;
- the edge is in the zone of contact between the open land and the forest, and includes an arborescent layer, a shrub layer and a herbaceous layer;
- the distance between the trees and the arborescent layer is no greater than 6 metres.
The application must be submitted to the head of the district before work commences.
How to proceed
Filing an application
When submitting an application, the applicant must state the following on the form:
- their surname and first name;
- their address;
- their telephone number;
- their banking institution and account number;
- their national identification number;
- the total area of the forest property;
- information about the surface area in question (commune, section, locality, land registry plot number, cadastral surface, surface treated, number of plants, species, length and depth of the edge, protected zone).
If the applicant owns a farm, they must also state:
- the farm holding number;
- the farm accident insurance number.
The application must be accompanied by the following:
- a topographic map (scale 1:10,000) showing the location of the site;
- a cadastral extract of the plots concerned;
- when felling is involved, a plan of the intervention zones;
- a copy of the proposal for new plants.
Once the new plants have been planted, the applicant must provide a copy of the receipted invoice for the work.
The head of the district will inform the applicant of the Nature Conservation Agency's decision, and the measures to be taken to receive a subsidy.
Amount of aid
The amount of aid paid after the realisation of the work is fixed at:
- EUR 1 per plant, for the introduction of new plants in the forest edge;
- EUR 40 per are of the intervention zone, for selective felling as part of the restoration or maintenance of a forest edge.
When felling is involved, aid is granted only after the plan of the intervention zones is submitted for approval by the Nature Conservation Agency. Selective felling of individual trees or groups of trees as part of the restoration and maintenance of a forest edge must be carried out as and when required. The felling zones must be no more than 35m long and 15m deep.
The interval between actions taken on contiguous areas must be at least 10 years.
When introducing new plants, preference should be given to indigenous arborescent and arbustive species found in edges in the region in question.
Repayment of aid
Any aid paid out must be repaid to the State Treasury when:
- it was obtained by means of knowingly false or incomplete representations on the part of the applicant;
- the beneficiary has failed to comply with the conditions to which the granting of the aid was subject. In that event, the beneficiary must also pay interest on the amount given, at the legal base rate, calculated as from the day of payment to the day of repayment.
If a false declaration is found to have been made through gross negligence or through failure to adhere to the principles of good forestry practices, the beneficiary is precluded from receiving aid for the year in question.
If they make a deliberate misrepresentation, they are excluded for the following year as well.