Confor Study: Forestry Delivers Five Times Benefits of Farming
A new study commissioned by Confor reports that once established, productive conifer forestry delivers around five times the economic output of farming before subsidy.
The report by SAC Consulting, covered 4000 hectares of woodland and 4000 hectares of farmland in Wales, mainly in the South Cambrian and Upper Corris regions. It showed that annual output per hectare is £83.72 before subsidy for forestry compared to a deficit of £109.50 before subsidy for farming.
In light of the new evidence, Confor are encouraging Welsh farmers to diversify their operations by planting more trees. Confor Chief Executive Stuart Goodall said:
“This research by respected consultants demonstrates that productive softwood forestry is a very significant economic activity in rural Wales – and a real economic opportunity for Welsh upland farmers.
“It provides an opportunity for those farmers to successfully diversify their businesses, deliver more for the environment, create shelter belts for livestock, enhance biodiversity – and reduce reliance on public subsidy in the longer term.”
The full SAC report is available here.
Confor has also produced a video, Integrated Forestry and Farming in Wales, which uses real examples to illustrate why woodland creation is a viable option on marginal land for Welsh farmers.