Supporting seed supply for the nation’s forests

The Forestry Commission is investing in the private and public sector to ensure resilient, diverse, and bio-secure supply of tree seed to meet 2050 (16.5% cover) planting targets.


As tree planting continues to accelerate, demand for seed increases. Where British seed supplies does not meet requirements, seed is imported to meet nurseries demands. However, imported seed is not always sufficient, may not be genetically appropriate, and comes with the risk of importing harmful pests and pathogens.

To increase the quantity, quality, and diversity of seed sources from the nation’s forests, the commission is funding a Seed Resources Manager in Forestry England’s Plant & Seed Supply team. The team have been working to establish new Seed Orchards and seedling Seed Stands, and are identifying, registering, and managing existing stands across the nation’s forests for seed production. As well as for Forestry England’s own use, these seed sources are available and accessible for private sector seed collectors.

A new state-of-the-art new seed processing unit at Delamere is in development. This facility will process seed for use and ensure that a (limited) number of species available to the private sector.

Seed Sourcing & Tree Production Capital Grants opened

There are Nature for Climate Fund (NCF) grants available to provide support for projects that increase tree seed and sapling production, available to private nurseries, seed suppliers, estate managers, and landowners.

  • The Seed Sourcing Grant (SSG) was developed to provide funding for activities that enhance the quality, quantity and diversity of England’s tree seed sources. The SSG has just re-opened for a third round of funding applications, with £260,000 available for projects during 2024/25.
  • The Tree Production Innovation Fund (TPIF), which supports innovation in how we produce tree planting stock
  • Tree Production Capital grant (TPCG), which provides support to increase the domestic production of tree seed and saplings through investing in facilities and equipment. The TPCG has also re-opened for a third round, with £2.5 million available for the 2024/25 financial year.