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The Tree Council of Ireland has partnered with Balfour Beatty CLG to provide funds to assist community groups to undertake well-planned tree planting projects during 2013. The main aim of the Community Tree Projects Grant Scheme is to encourage community groups to plant trees in locations where people live and work and to support projects that apply good practice to the planting and management of trees. Applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have sought advice on the project from a competent, experienced person. Priority will be given to projects that encourage and facilitate involvement of local people.

This competitive scheme covers the purchase and installation of trees and aids to establishment. Successful applicants will receive up to 75% towards their project costs subject to a maximum grant of €500 per project. The remaining 25% will need to be provided by the community group.

To be eligible for funding, projects will be required to fulfil key criteria such as active engagement of the local community in the project, engagement of children under the age of 16 in the project, a publicly accessible planting site, defined neighbourhood benefits from the project, a plan in place for ensuring that the trees are cared for into the future, evidence of support and permission of the landowner where trees are to be planted and a timescale for project implementation.  In addition, the project must be run by a group or organisation that represents the interests of the local community and is non-profit making.


The closing date for applications is 20th of January 2013


Who can apply?

The scheme is open only to not for profit community groups such as tidy towns groups, residents associations, local heritage groups, sports associations, schools and youth groups.


Criteria for Eligibility

To be eligible for funding your tree planting project should meet the following criteria:

  • Be run by a group or organisation that represents the interests of the local community and is non-governmental and non-profit distributing.
  • Tree planting should be in publicly accessible green spaces or streets, near to where people live and work, on land owned or managed by parish councils, community groups or local authorities.
  • Projects must be carried out in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Involve the local community and provide benefits to people in the neighbourhood.
  • Actively involve and engage children under the age of 16 years in the project.  This could be formal groups, such as cubs, guides or youth clubs or else a community team assembled for the purpose of the project.
  • Demonstrate at application stage that advice on the project has been sought from a competent, experienced person and that good practice will be used in planting and maintenance of the trees.
  • Have in place a method for ensuring the proper care and maintenance of the trees into the future.
  • Provide evidence of the support and permission of the landowner where trees are to be planted.
  • Start and finish the work we are funding between the date of grant award and before November 30, 2013.

Additional Guidelines for Applicants

  • The Tree Council of Ireland and our partners Balfour Beatty CLG are particularly interested in community-focussed tree planting projects that will yield a legacy of long-term benefits and improvements in locations with little greenery and tree cover.  Our broad aim is to promote a positive interest in the environment in communities across Ireland and we are also interested in projects that foster and encourage active citizen participation and skills development in tree planting and care.
  • Factors to think about when choosing your trees include how big they will grow, whether they will affect neighbouring property, whether their growth will be constrained by utilities either under or overground, whether the soil conditions are right, and what you want from your trees. We are most interested in how well trees will survive and how well they suit site conditions, e.g. wetness, exposure, possible vandalism.
  • Where possible, planting of native species appropriate to the area is encouraged.  Priority will however be given to projects which demonstrate the right choice of tree in the right place.  Some non-native species may be more suitable for planting in urban situations or may cope better with the growing conditions of the planting site.  It is generally better to plant Irish grown trees from reputable suppliers to avoid unknowingly importing pests and diseases
  • We expect most of the projects we fund to be small scale planting of groups of trees in green spaces, other small-scale tree planting or individual street trees.  Any woodland planting must be less than 0.1ha.  Enquiries relating to funding supports for planting woodland areas over 0.1ha should be directed to the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford.

Eligible costs

Eligible costs include the cost of the trees and any necessary supports and aids to establishment such as stakes, ties, guards, fertiliser, mulch and soil amelioration (where conditions make this appropriate).  We will consider funding hire of machinery where necessary.


Exclusions

We cannot pay for any costs incurred before you have received and accepted a formal offer of funding. Applications in respect of projects already carried out are also ineligible. Recoverable VAT is not eligible for funding and so if you are VAT registered, please exclude any VAT costs from your totals. We will not fund the cost of any employment involved in the project. Nor will we fund land acquisition and other significant capital expenditure such as machinery purchase. Please note that the Tree Council of Ireland will only grant aid tree planting. We will not grant aid the planting of hedges or shrubs under this scheme. Please do not include them in your application. All trees must be planted into the ground. Trees in tubs are not eligible for funding.


Award of Grants

The amount of grant offered is entirely at the discretion of the Tree Council’s grant assessment panel. Once awarded, grant amounts cannot be increased. The grant will be limited to a maximum of 75% of eligible costs subject to a maximum grant of €500 per project, although we may fund up to 100% in exceptional circumstances. Applicants should remember however that a smaller percentage may be awarded, depending upon how many applications are recommended for support. You will need to find funding for the remaining costs from other sources.


Your Contribution

The total of your community group’s own financial contribution, along with financial support received from other sources apart from The Tree Council, should cover at least 25% of the eligible costs. We need to know where the 25% match funding will come from, though we will not require bank statements. In drawing up your budget, you should have contingency plans to enable your project to proceed even if the Tree Council funds less than the proportion you apply for. Your other sources of funding may include fund-raising, sponsorship, grants or funding from other sources or from the value of ‘in kind’ support which may include donations of goods and services.


General Conditions of Grant Offer

The award of grants will be subject to acceptance of the Tree Council’s Conditions of Offer. You should read the general conditions below to make sure that you will be able to comply with them. The Tree Council may also attach conditions specific to individual projects.  General conditions are as follows:

The Tree Council of Ireland’s decision to offer you a grant will have been made in good faith, based on the information you supplied. If any of that information was misleading, whether deliberately or accidentally, the Council reserves the right to withdraw its grant; you must repay any money you have received under that grant.

In accepting the offer of a grant for your project, you undertake to ensure that:

  • if your project involves children, you will comply with the national child protection guidelines that are available on http://www.dcya.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=%2Fdocuments%2FChild_Welfare_Protection%2Fchildfirst.htm
  • you agree to be responsible for any loss, damage or injury to persons or property arising out of the tree planting project and shall indemnify the Tree Council of Ireland and Balfour Beatty CLG against all claims howsoever arising.
  • you have obtained all necessary approvals, permissions, licences or consents
  • all your work will be carried out in accordance with the principles of good practice for tree planting and maintenance
  • you will license the Tree Council of Ireland to use project reports and photographs for educational or promotional purposes (with appropriate credits to the authors and photographers)
  • only expenditure on the agreed work will be funded by the Tree Council’s grant

If you do not comply with these conditions, the Council will withdraw its grant; you must repay any money you have received under that grant.


Payment of Grant

You must complete the project and make the final claim for your grant payment before 30th November 2013. If the work is not completed on time, the Tree Council of Ireland reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a grant.

Before making final payments of grants, the Tree Council will seek a brief written report on the project using a standard template which we will supply. Your report should include photographs taken before, during and after the project. We will also seek documentary evidence of expenditure on the project which can consist of receipts, itemised extracts from bank accounts, evidence of value of goods and services donated, or other forms of proof agreed by us in advance.

You must normally make claims after you have spent the money using a form we will supply. Grant payments will be made after the Council has assessed the project work and found it to be satisfactory. That decision will be based on your project report, records of expenditure and on any inspection of the work that the Tree Council may have carried out at any stage during the lifetime of the project.


How to Apply

Applications must be made on the official Application Form and must include all the information requested, as we are unable to present incomplete applications to our grants assessment panel.

The Application Form may be downloaded at www.treecouncil.ie or is also available in hard copy on request from the Tree Council of Ireland. An email application is preferred but we are happy to accept paper applications. The form is easy to fill in on screen and you may expand the text boxes as you type. If you are completing the form on paper, please add additional sheets if you need more space.

Applications should be submitted to arrive on or before the closing date of January 20th 2013. Applications may be submitted by email to trees@treecouncil.ie or by post addressed to: The Tree Council of Ireland, Seismograph House, Rathfarnham Castle, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14.


The Assessment Process

The Community Tree Projects Grant Scheme is competitive and the information you provide in your application form will be used to assess your project. We expect to get many more applications than we can fund so please complete your application as fully as possible. Your application will be assessed by a panel of representatives from the Tree Council of Ireland and Balfour Beatty CLG who will consider the following:

  • Eligibility and best fit to the criteria
  • The funds available for distribution
  • Numbers of new trees to be planted
  • Levels of local support and community involvement in tree planting, during your project and in the future
  • Active engagement of U16’s through the planting or related activities
  • Value for money
  • The likely success of planting and maintenance, ensuring the trees survive into the future
  • How much the project will improve the physical landscape for the community

The Community Tree Project Grants scheme panel could decide to offer you funding in full, offer you part funding, reject your application, or ask for further information. The Tree Council of Ireland will inform you of the outcome of your application by e-mail in mid-February 2013.


If you need further advice on the scheme or application form, please contact:
The Tree Council of Ireland, Seismograph House, Rathfarnham Castle, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14.
01 493 1313
trees@treecouncil.ie
www.treecouncil.ie

 
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