Small Woods Scheme Launched for Woodland Carbon Code

Small Woods Scheme Launched for Woodland Carbon Code

A new deal has been launched to promote small carbon forestry projects under the Woodland Carbon Code.

Sir Harry Studholme FICFor (Hon), Chair of Forestry Commission GB, discussed the changes at the Confor Woodland Show, Longleat, on 10 December. He said:

“Since we launched the Woodland Carbon Code in 2011 it has been a great success in attracting funding into new woodland projects. The code is designed to help investors compensate for their carbon emissions by funding tree planting. There are now more than 200 projects registered across the UK, of which half to date have been certified.

“To be robust and credible, a certification scheme must be rigorous in its auditing and inspection regimes. However, this incurs costs, and it became clear from experience that the administration and costs involved were prohibitive for smaller projects.

“Now, with a simpler but conservative approach to predicting carbon and dealing with risk, as well as streamlined administration and reduced monitoring requirements, we hope that the small woods process will prove cost-effective to land owners who are looking to undertake smaller woodland creation projects.”

Sir Harry explained that carbon funding can make it possible to establish new woodlands which might not otherwise be possible.

“For example, if you get a woodland grant, but it won’t cover all your costs, or if you’re unsuccessful in winning a grant, carbon funding for a WCC-certified project could bridge the financial gap and help you to finance a woodland creation project of any size.”

The small woods process can be used for eligible projects planting from 0.1 to 5 hectares net planted area (i.e. the area excluding open ground). Projects smaller than 5ha net currently make up less than 5% of the carbon sequestration predicted for all WCC projects.

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