Seventh Woodland Carbon Guarantee auction dates announced

The Woodland Carbon Guarantee aims to boost woodland planting rates and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
The Woodland Carbon Guarantee aims to boost woodland planting rates and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

Farmers will soon be able to apply for funding worth £10m to create woodlands via a scheme which provides new income in the form of long-term payments.

Applications for this year's Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme will open from 30 April, Defra announced on Tuesday (14 February).

The scheme provides new income for farmers and land managers in the form of long-term payments for the amount of carbon new woodland will store.

Defra has confirmed that the Woodland Carbon Guarantee's seventh auction will take place online between 15 and 21 May.

Following the auction, 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.

These units are then sold to the government over 35 years at a guaranteed price, protected against inflation.

Following feedback, changes have been made this year, including the removal of project categories, making it easier for customers to access, and the publication of the reserve price, which is £30 per Woodland Carbon Unit.

According Defra, previous Woodland Carbon Guarantee auctions have together helped stimulate 2,810 hectares of tree planting.

The outcome of previous auctions supported projects across England at a range of scales, the department said, including in the South West and East where tree planting has been lower in recent years.

Richard Stanford, chief executive of the Forestry Commission said: “Now in its seventh round, it’s encouraging that the Guarantee has continued to grow in its success.

“I strongly encourage farmers, foresters and land managers across England to submit their applications to the Guarantee ahead of the application deadline on 30 April.”

Farmers wanting to apply for the Guarantee will need to have registered with the Woodland Carbon Code first.

This provides information required to plan woodlands and calculate the amount of carbon that it will remove from the atmosphere.

The woodland will also need to comply with the requirements of the UK Forestry Standard.