The first award under the Woodland Carbon Code group scheme validation has been handed out, marking a key milestone in the drive to promote woodland planting.
The Code is a voluntary UK standard which aims to ensure that so-called ‘carbon forestry’ projects deliver all of the carbon benefits that their creators claim. A number of woodland projects have been awarded the validation by the scheme, meaning that major cost savings will be available for those looking to plant trees in a bid to offset their carbon emissions.
Dr Vicky West, climate change analyst with the Forestry Commission – the body which administers the carbon code – said: “The 2009 Read Report on forests and climate change said that if an extra four per cent of the UK’s land were planted with new woodland over the next 40 years, it could be locking up 10 per cent of its predicted greenhouse gas emissions by the 2050s.
“We therefore hope this will help to stimulate more woodland planting across the UK, not just for the carbon benefits, but for all the social, economic and environmental benefits they provide,” Ms West added.
The group of 11 woodland projects which have been awarded Carbon Code validation are based in Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Borders and Northamptonshire and are all owned by Buccleuch Estates. The four other groups of woodland projects that are currently taking part in the pilot scheme are tipped to be awarded validation soon.
The award will help to safeguard global forests by encouraging sustainable planting, something which companies such as Greenwood Management are already hard at work on. The validation will act as an assurance that certain woodlands will be sustainably managed to the “high standards set out in the UK Forestry Standard and its associated Climate Change Guidelines for Forestry,” the Forestry Commission reported.