Defra has announced that farmers and growers could benefit from a long-term income stream to encourage new woodlands through the Woodland Carbon Guarantee (WCaG). This is a £50 million scheme that aims to help increase woodland planting in England.
In fact, the government has promised to plant 11m trees by 2022 as part of its efforts to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The WCaG will allow farmers to sell captured carbon dioxide to the government in the form of verified carbon credits called Woodland Carbon Units (WCUs) at a guaranteed price every 5 or 10 years up to 2055/56, providing an additional long-term income from your woodland.
Although it is currently possible to sell carbon credits from woodland the price on the open market is low, which means long-term carbon capture projects are often impractical.
Defra states that the WCaG provides long term certainty for participants. It provides landowners with a guaranteed price for the carbon credits, set at the level required to make the investment worthwhile.
Are you eligible?
The WCaG is open to land managers who are owner-occupiers, tenants, landlords and licensors and you can read the Eligibility Criteria here. To apply for the scheme your woodland creation project will need to be registered with and managed under the Woodland Carbon Code.
If you would like any further advice on WCaG or help to complete the application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.