Net Zero Ambition Drives Demand for Timber

Increasing demand for timber assets driven by net zero ambitions has led to UK commercial forestry values rising by at least 15% in the past year, according to a new report. The UK Forest Market Report 2022 by UK-based woodland creation, forest management and timber harvesting company Tilhill and specialist forestry firm Goldcrest Land & Forestry Group noted increasing demand for timber assets through fewer and smaller, but higher value sales this year. With the market now valued at over £200 million, Scotland “spearheaded the charge for economic forestry”, the report said, with an 84% share of UK commercial forestry sales. The land available for natural capital projects, including native afforestation, peatland restoration and rewilding, has also tripled in the past year. The focus on nature-based solutions (NbS) beyond timber has unearthed more suitable land for these projects, increasing to £80.7 million this year, up from £26.4 million in 2021. England accounted for the largest market share with £32.4 million in listings for 2,500 hectares (ha), followed by Wales (£28.9 million for 2,100ha) and Scotland (£19.5 million across 2,300ha). These listings averaged £13,200 in England, £13,600 in Wales, and £8,500 in Scotland per gross hectare. Fenning Welstead, Partner at Goldcrest Land & Forestry Group, said: To date we have been tinkering around the edges. A future with much greater emphasis on renewable energy and raw materials will surely have to rely more on trees. Whatever the vicissitudes along the way the future of human activity will need more timber. We must keep planting.” 

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