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 regularly after planting. In addition to this, under the Woodland Carbon Code all projects are required to be 'verified' (this is a re-certification process) at years 5, 15, 25, 35 and so on, and this will be subject to the same audit as the initial certification.
As the Woodland Carbon Code was launched in 2011 the first verifications were only required in 2016. Throughout the latter half of 2015 Forest Carbon was one of two project developers supporting the Forestry Commission in the piloting of the new verification methodology, using its projects at Harperrig, Overkirkhope and Topps Wood. As the trees are too young at year 5 to give an accurate carbon capture assessment the year 5 exercise is a head count (planting density and species mix) and check up (tree health). We are pleased to report that our project at Harperrig became the first ever to pass the year 5 test, in March 2016.