New practical guidance on forestry investments for farmers and landowners released by Woodknowledge Wales in collaboration with Bangor University
A series of six practical guidance notes on evaluating the financial aspects of woodland creation and timber have just been released by Woodknowledge Wales in collaboration with Bangor University.
Well-targeted tree planting on farmland is an important means to combat climate change and enhance the supply of home-grown timber. However, woodland creation targets across the UK are not being met by tree planting on the ground. Farmers are understandably cautious because woodland creation represents a major shift in land use and long-term commitment of land, labour and capital for a farming business.
The six linked guidance notes have been written to equip farmers and landowners with the knowledge and tools required to carry out some due diligence on whether investing in afforestation and timber production within their farming business might make financial sense, before reaching out for specialist advice.
The practical notes were produced by Dr Ashley Hardaker a Postdoctoral Research Officer in the Sir William Roberts Centre, Bangor University, with contributions from Professor John Healey, Professor of Forest Sciences at the University.
The guidance notes were commissioned by Woodknowledge Wales as part of their Home-Grown Homes project, sponsored by the Welsh Government, which aimed to identify transformative actions to enhance supply of local forest products in Wales.
Ashley Hardaker emphasised:
“These guidance notes are not designed just to promote the financial benefits of woodland creation on farms. Instead, they enable a more objective assessment by providing an introduction to the key economics tools, using simple worked examples, that farmers and landowners can use to evaluate their own potential woodland creation plans.”
John Healey, a member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, added
“they do not replace a full appraisal and advice by a chartered forester, but allow farmers and landowners to approach professional advisors from a more informed position.”
The six recently published guidance notes can be accessed from the Woodknowledge Wales website: