With woodland creation high on the Government’s agenda there has never been a better time to start planting trees.
Grant funding is available for the creation of woodland through the Government’s Woodland Creation Grant and various Woodland Trust schemes. The size and situation of the woodland will determine which grant is most suitable, as well as the proportion of funding that is available, with grant schemes offering between 50-100% of costs.
Landowners do not need to wait for timber income to realise a return on their investment. The value of carbon sequestered in newly planted woodlands is being recognised as a trading commodity being measured in carbon units. These units can be sold to companies who are purchasing carbon units in preparation to meet the Government’s target of being net carbon neutral by 2050, allowing them to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon units can be sold privately or through the Government’s Woodland Carbon Guarantee, with the average price in June achieving £19.71 per tonne of carbon stored. Estimated figures of carbon sequestered in a new native woodland over a 50 year period are in the region of 300-400 tonnes/ha, making this a good opportunity to enhance the environment and realise an income from land that may otherwise be unproductive. The net volume of carbon sequestered will vary depending on a number of factors including species, spacing and site conditions, etc. As a starting point, it is important that any new schemes are registered with the Woodland Carbon Code, this being the recognised quality assurance standard.