FARMERS and land managers across England are being encouraged to apply for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme ahead of the next auction this October.

Applications must be submitted by 11 October for the auction, which will take place online between 26 October to 1 November.

The Woodland Carbon Guarantee is a Forestry Commission administered £50 million scheme aimed at helping accelerate woodland planting rates and permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

New tree planting projects are eligible for long-term payments for the amount of carbon a new woodland will store.

Following an online auction process, successful bidders will be offered the option to sell woodland carbon in the form of 'woodland carbon units' – a financial value given to each tonne of carbon stored – to the government over 35 years at a guaranteed price protected against inflation.

Sir William Worsley, chair of the Forestry Commission, said: “This pioneering scheme could be the perfect fit for many farmers and land managers looking to help tackle the climate and nature crises now upon us.

“Results from the second auction show the scheme is growing in its success, providing more land managers with long-term income support for creating new woodland.

“I strongly encourage anyone thinking about planting to sign up ahead of the next auction in October.”

Speaking of the benefits of the Guarantee, Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “This scheme provides landowners with the long-term certainty of a guaranteed payment rate for carbon, which their trees lock up and store.

“From helping to reduce carbon emissions, encouraging biodiversity and nature recovery, and improving people’s health and wellbeing, the benefits of trees are undeniable.

“I urge all land managers to consider planting roots and to sign up to the Woodland Carbon Guarantee as we rebuild our country to ensure a greener and more resilient future.”

The second auction, which closed in June, saw 27 contracts offered by the Forestry Commission to help stimulate the creation of 1,517 ha of new woodland specifically to help combat climate change. The average price of bids accepted in the second auction was £19.71 per woodland carbon unit.

Before applying for the Guarantee, land managers must register with the Woodland Carbon Code, which provides the tools and information required to verify and record the carbon they are capturing and can sell in future.

Apply for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee here.

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