How to access woodland carbon markets

23 February 2023

Landholders have traditionally planted trees for shelter, timber, sporting or aesthetic reasons. Into this mix, carbon markets are gaining momentum. Additional revenues are available from new woodland creation in recognition of a woodland’s ability to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it grows.

Woodland creation has the potential to unlock financial value from less productive land and provide significant natural capital benefits and climate resilience to a property.

What is the Woodland Carbon Code?

The Woodland Carbon Code is an independent quality assurance standard, supported by the UK government, which can be used to verify woodland creation projects and carbon units, ensuring that these units are real, quantifiable, additional and permanent. Carbon units can be bought by companies wishing to mitigate their carbon emissions and achieve Net-Zero.

Where do I start?

A digital baseline of your natural capital assets helps to identify priority areas which can deliver natural capital benefits. Integrating new technologies such as remote sensing and satellite imagery analysis with scientific best practice can rapidly provide actionable insights to inform your decision making. Before embarking on a project, a rigorous desk-based assessment of a prospective project provides an illustration of the potential carbon yield, project costs, grants and illustrative revenues, giving you confidence that your project is viable.

How can I mitigate risks?

Project risks are identified through assessment of the potential natural and non-natural risks linked to a prospective project. Risks from pest and disease, fire, drought, storms, project implementation, governance and carbon credit delivery, all need to be properly understood and managed.

How to deliver high-quality, ‘charismatic’ carbon units.

High-quality units come from the creation of multi-species woodland most suitable to the land and landscape context, selecting species that are more resilient to future climate changes. Other quality attributes include permanence, defined as a commitment to maintain the woodland for the long-term with appropriate management, and additionality, ensuring that the project demonstrates additional carbon sequestration that would not have occurred without access to carbon markets. Projects can also deliver ‘co-benefits’, which recognise the social and environmental impacts beyond carbon sequestration. A well-designed woodland connects habitats, helps regulate water flows, can reduce flood risk, stabilises soils and supports communities.

High-quality units come from the creation of multi-species woodland most suitable to the land and landscape context.

How Zulu Ecosystems can support you

We provide actionable insights to better understand the extent and potential of your natural capital, how and where to focus efforts to improve it, and the types of revenue and funding opportunities available to you. Our approach has been shaped by our work with landholdings across the UK.

For more information or for an initial assessment of your property, please contact

Published in: Scottish Land & Estates - Out of the woods - Issue 84 Autumn 2022

To read the original publication, click here.

Written by
Jack Heathcoat-Amory
Commercial Director
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