£20m available in eighth Woodland Carbon Guarantee auction

Farmers, foresters and other land managers are encouraged to apply for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme ahead of the eighth auction, which will take place online from 23-29 September.

Administered by the Forestry Commission, the Woodland Carbon Guarantee is a £50m scheme that aims to help accelerate woodland planting rates and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and has already resulted in nearly 3,000 hectares of new woodland across the country.

£20m is now available as part of the eighth auction, for farmers and land managers to create new woodlands to help tackle the effects of climate change, providing new income in the form of long-term payments for the amount of carbon a new woodland will store. Woodland creation also provides a wealth of other benefits from helping to reverse biodiversity decline and increasing green jobs to aiding physical and mental health.

Following an online auction process, successful bidders will be offered the option to sell woodland carbon in the form of Woodland Carbon Units – a financial value given to each tonne of carbon stored – to the Government up to 2055 at a guaranteed price protected against inflation. The scheme reflects the government’s confidence in the continued growth of markets for woodland carbon, as landowners will continue to benefit from a reliable revenue stream in selling carbon on the domestic market.

For the first time, the auction will be opened up to farmers, foresters and land mangers whose projects are not currently in receipt of government funding to allow an even greater number of woodlands to benefit from the auction. These projects will have access to a higher, undisclosed reserve price per Woodland Carbon Unit. Projects can still receive the Woodland Creation Planning Grant to support the design process and remain eligible for this new category.

Richard Stanford, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, said, “The Woodland Carbon Guarantee continues to be a huge success, providing additional financial surety for nearly 3,000 hectares of new woodland across the country, helping to address some of society’s biggest challenges including climate change and biodiversity loss.

“The eighth auction is a great opportunity for even more farmers, foresters and land managers to reap the benefits of this scheme by receiving a guarantee of future additional income for increasing tree cover across the country and I encourage as many as possible to apply by 6 September.”

Before applying for the guarantee, land managers will need to have registered with the Woodland Carbon Code, which provides the tools and information required to verify and record the carbon they are capturing and can sell in future.

Previous auctions have seen a considerable number of contracts offered by the Forestry Commission to stimulate proposals for the creation of new woodland specifically to help combat climate change. The Government has stretching and challenging targets to increase tree canopy and woodland cover in England to at least 16.5% by 2050, and continues to take action to meet this with more than 15 million trees having been planted this parliament.

Register with the Woodland Carbon Code and apply for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee here


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