New process to make certifying new small woodlands easier and cheaper

A "streamlined and more cost-effective" process for certifying and managing small woodlands to Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) standards was launched yesterday (10 September).

Image: Forestry Commission
Image: Forestry Commission

The new deal was launched by Forestry Commission chair Sir Harry Studholme, at this week's Confor Woodland Show in Wiltshire.

He said: "To be robust and credible, a certification scheme must be rigorous in its auditing and inspection regimes. However, this incurs costs, and it became clear from experience that the administration and costs involved were prohibitive for smaller projects.

"Now, with a simpler but conservative approach to predicting carbon and dealing with risk, as well as streamlined administration and reduced monitoring requirements, we hope that the small woods process will prove cost-effective to land owners who are looking to undertake smaller woodland creation projects."

He explained that carbon funding can make it possible to establish new woodlands which might not otherwise be possible.

"For example, if you get a woodland grant, but it won't cover all your costs, or if you're unsuccessful in winning a grant, carbon funding for a WCC-certified project could bridge the financial gap and help you to finance a woodland creation project of any size."

The small woods process can be used for eligible projects planting from 0.1 to 5 hectares net planted area land planting projects. Full information about the scheme is available  from or by contacting

Launched in 2011, the Woodland Carbon Code is intended to help investors compensate for their carbon emissions by funding tree planting. There are now more than 200 projects registered across the UK, of which have been certified.

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