Once the woodland is planted, it’s important that we all know how it’s doing. All of our woodlands are signed-off at planting, at year 5 and at year 10 by the Forestry Commission, and Forest Carbon also inspects them at least 5 yearly after planting. In reality we inspect them more than that – because we’re often out visiting projects with clients, or assessing prospective projects, or monitoring projects, we’ll nearly always be travelling past others en route and drop in to have a look. In addition to this we get photographs taken annually at the sites, both for our own monitoring purposes and to send to clients.
Our carbon calculations have a very generous safety margin (called a ‘buffer stock’ in carbonland), and this will mean that if there were any problems identified at a site there is an extremely high chance that there would still be more carbon captured than was bought. In the case of a problem then under the terms of our contract with landowners they would make good the situation, but we thoroughly appraise the risks of every project before we undertake it and to date we have had no prblems or failures.
Under the Woodland Carbon Code we will agree a monitoring schedule for all of our projects with the independent auditor that will be assessing our performance against the Code, and they will then check up on us by spot checking our monitoring activity.