Trees Provide Money-Making Opportunities for Land Owners

UK - Land owners have the potential to make money and tackle climate change at the same time, by "selling" the carbon absorbed by trees on their farm.
calendar icon 12 November 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

Parties who want to compensate for their emissions to the atmosphere look to "buy" carbon-absorbing woodlands, providing farm owners with a good opportunity.

Land owners can sign up to the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) and get their woodlands certified, provides an assurance to woodland carbon buyers that the new woodlands really do achieve the carbon savings claimed, in addition to being well managed to the requirements of the UK Forestry Standard.

This assurance of credibility makes the purchase of woodland carbon units more attractive to responsible buyers, among whom can be large, well-known companies as well as small local businesses and organisations.

Such a purchase can effectively mean that the carbon buyer pays part of the cost of establishing and managing the woodland, while the woodland owner continues to enjoy the other benefits, which can still include income from firewood or timber. All species planted in new woodland are eligible for the scheme, and the WCC can be used in conjunction with woodland creation grants provided certain criteria are met.

In particular, the introduction of the small woods scheme for the WCC will interest landowners who wish to create small areas of woodland (up to 5 hectares, or 12 acres) on their farm, which may also help reduce runoff to rivers or provide shelter for stock.

The code is administered by the Forestry Commission, and Bruce Auchterlonie, Woodland Carbon Code Officer at the Commission, said: “The introduction of the small woods scheme will interest land owners undertaking smaller projects enabling them to participate in the scheme with lower costs and less administration.”

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