Ten and a bit years ago, in September 2011, the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) launched. Forest Carbon was one of the driving forces behind the launch and had, by 2011, trialled the concept and secured funding for pilot projects. Since then, we have supported over 200 projects across the UK and Ireland, planted over 10 million trees, and seen the market grow in incredible ways.
The WCC has played a key role in this journey by providing assurance for buyers and sellers alike. For buyers, it provides transparency and certainty that their money has had a real and measurable impact. For sellers, it offers a route to generate certified carbon credits to be sold. Buyer confidence in the validity of these credits has been crucial in driving market growth, and the WCC provides just that.
Forest Carbon has been lucky enough to see the incredible developments that have taken place over the last few years first-hand. We’ve supported landowners with projects of all shapes and sizes, secured the necessary funding to put trees in the ground and seen those trees grow and thrive. To date we have carried out over 50 year 5 verification surveys, checking tree numbers and tree health, and seeing with our own eyes the difference a new woodland can make.
In 2021 Forest Carbon also hit a huge milestone – 10 million trees in the UK! That’s nearly 6,000 hectares (an area the size of Manhattan) covered with everything from native broadleaves like birch, oak, and beech to conifers like spruce, fir, and pine. Almost a third of the trees planted are birch, a species native to the UK, and easily recognised by its white bark.
Our largest newly planted woodland
Our smallest newly planted woodland
Breckenhill is a 1.4 ha woodland in Northern Ireland, on of our smallest projects to date!
Looking ahead, and looking around, the next 10 million trees will not take another decade to plant. Interest in woodland creation is only growing as the world moves towards net-zero. Enhancing the carbon carrying capacity of our natural environments through certified vehicles like the Woodland Carbon Code and the Peatland code in the UK, are useful tools to keep the channels open for private finance to invest in land transformation.