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Woodland Carbon Code

The Woodland Carbon Code is a voluntary standard, initiated in July 2011, for woodland creation projects that make claims about the carbon they sequester (take out of the atmosphere).

All projects must be placed on the UK Woodland Carbon Registry.  Their claims about potential carbon sequestration are validated by an independent certification body.  Validated projects are then verified on a regular basis to confirm the progress of carbon sequestration.

Further information on Woodland Carbon Code projects is provided in the Sources chapter and at Home – UK Woodland Carbon Code.

Table 4.3a provides annual and quarterly data on projects registered under the Woodland Carbon Code. The table provides information on the number of projects, area of woodland covered by the projects and the total projected carbon sequestration over the lifetime (up to 100 years) of the projects.

A total of 156 projects had been validated to the Woodland Carbon Code at 31 March 2018, covering almost 5,300 hectares and projected to sequester 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetime. 

Of the validated projects, 37 were also verified by the end of March 2018. These projects cover almost 1,600 hectares and are projected to sequester 713 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetime.

A total of 239 projects were registered under the Woodland Carbon Code at 31 March 2018, covering over 16,100 hectares of woodland and projected to sequester 5.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Table 4.3a Woodland Carbon Code projects1 in the UK

  Verified Validated
only
Awaiting
validation
Total
Number of projects    
March 2012 0 11 46 57
March 2013 0 36 69 105
March 2014 0 67 135 202
March 2015 0 100 99 199
March 2016 1 121 108 230
March 2017 3 140 107 250
March 2018 37 119 83 239
Area of woodland (hectares)
March 2012 0 795 1972 2767
March 2013 0 1488 2073 3561
March 2014 0 2824 12576 15401
March 2015 0 3322 12063 15385
March 2016 5 4749 11087 15841
March 2017 148 4993 11028 16170
March 2018 1578 3680 10868 16125
Projected carbon sequestration2 (thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) 
March 2012 0 354 930 1283
March 2013 0 655 1137 1792
March 2014 0 1323 4364 5687
March 2015 0 1588 4091 5679
March 2016 2 2278 3519 5799
March 2017 79 2385 3476 5940
March 2018 713 1790 3285 5788

Source: Forestry Commission

Notes:

1. Projects can be validated/ verified individually or come together as part of a group. The statistics presented here show the number of projects validated or verified whether they were put through the process individually or as part of a group.

2. Figures for carbon sequestration indicate the total projected sequestration of the projects over their lifetime of up to 100 years, and include the amount claimable by a project plus the amount allocated to a shared "buffer" in case of unanticipated losses.

Awaiting validation: is when a project or group is undergoing assessment by a certification body.

Validated: is the initial evaluation of a project or group against the requirements of the Woodland Carbon Code. Upon completion a project/group will receive a 'Validation Opinion Statement'. The project/group will then be certified for a period of up to 5 years.

Verified: Verification is the evaluation of a project as it progresses to confirm the amount of CO2 sequestered to date as well as that it continues to meet the requirements of the Code.

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics.  For further information see the Sources chapter.

    

Together, all validated (including verified) projects were predicted to sequester 1,531 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide in Scotland, 792 thousand tonnes in England, 177 thousand tonnes in Wales and 3 thousand tonnes in Northern Ireland over their lifetime (Table 4.3b).

Table 4.3b Woodland Carbon Code projects1 at 31 March 2018

  England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Number of projects     
Awaiting validation 18 27 37 1 83
    Validated only 50 11 57 1 119
    Verified 18 2 17 0 37
Total validated 68 13 74 1 156
Total 86 40 111 2 239
Area of woodland (hectares)
Awaiting validation 143 165 10553 7 10868
    Validated only 1216 301 2155 9 3680
    Verified 183 37 1358 0 1578
Total validated 1399 338 3513 9 5257
Total 1542 503 14065 15 16125
Projected carbon sequestration2 (thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)
Awaiting validation 60 76 3148 1 3285
    Validated only 686 152 948 3 1790
    Verified 106 24 583 0 713
Total validated 792 177 1531 3 2503
Total 853 252 4679 4 5788

Source: Forestry Commission

Notes:

1. Projects can be validated/ verified individually or come together as part of a group. The statistics presented here show the number of projects validated or verified whether they were put through the process individually or as part of a group.

2. Figures for carbon sequestration indicate the total projected sequestration of the projects over their lifetime of up to 100 years, and include the amount claimable by a project plus the amount allocated to a shared "buffer" in case of unanticipated losses.

Awaiting validation: is when a project or group is undergoing assessment by a certification body.

Validated: is the initial evaluation of a project or group against the requirements of the Woodland Carbon Code. Upon completion a project/group will receive a 'Validation Opinion Statement'. The project/group will then be certified for a period of up to 5 years.

Verified: Verification is the evaluation of a project as it progresses to confirm the amount of CO2 sequestered to date as well as that it continues to meet the requirements of the Code.

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics.  For further information see the Sources chapter.

Additional resources

Sources chapter: UK Forests and Climate Change

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