THREE well-known forestry experts have joined forces to launch a new business.

Surveyors Jon Lambert, Fenning Welstead and Jock Galbraith, who previously worked for John Clegg & Co, have formed Goldcrest Land & Forestry Group.

Based in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square, and operating throughout the UK, Goldcrest’s services include buying and selling forestry and land on behalf of clients, valuations, asset management and strategic advice on rural estates and businesses.

The three chartered rural practice surveyors and chartered foresters drove the John Clegg & Co business forward for a combined total of more than 70 years.

Mr Lambert said: ‘‘I am delighted to be part of this new partnership. We have the resources, expertise and experience to provide a premium service to the rural sector. We have an unrivalled knowledge of the forestry market and as a team we have an excellent reputation, having been responsible for brokering the majority of commercial forestry transactions in the UK over the last two to three decades. We are looking forward to leaning on our unparalleled experience as we build our new business.”

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“The forestry market remains a buoyant growth sector, underpinned by significant interest from corporate firms keen to earn carbon credits as a way of ensuring compliance with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria. Additionally, the importance placed on natural capital is increasingly realised both in the valuation of forestry assets and through the rural support and grants offered by devolved governments in the UK as we leave the EU.”

Mr Lambert added: “The forestry sector has been relatively unscathed by COVID-19 with very considerable capital appreciation of woodlands, forests and planting land in the last year. Some properties have increased at an astonishing rate – in excess of 30 per cent in the last 12 months. Demand remains sustained for this bespoke investment asset class. I believe this interest will only intensify during the next 12-18 months and that we are likely to see further yield compression as a result. It is an exciting time to be setting up a new business in the sector.”

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