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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 www.woodlandcarboncode.org.uk/.

Table 4.2a provides annual 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 187 projects had been validated (including those that had also been verified) to the Woodland Carbon Code at 31 March 2019, covering almost 8,300 hectares and projected to sequester 3.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetime. 

Of the validated projects, 70 were also verified by the end of March 2019. These projects cover around 2,400 hectares and are projected to sequester 1.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetime.

A total of 266 projects were registered under the Woodland Carbon Code at 31 March 2019, covering around 17,400 hectares of woodland and projected to sequester 6.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Table 4.2a Woodland Carbon Code projects1 in the UK

  Verified Validated
only
Awaiting
validation
Total
Number of projects    
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
March 2019 70 117 79 266
Area of woodland (hectares)
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
March 2019 2404 5856 9134 17394
Projected carbon sequestration2 (thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) 
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
March 2019 1093 2331 2760 6184

Source: Provisional Woodland Statistics: 2019 Edition

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 2,458 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide in Scotland, 838 thousand tonnes in England, 118 thousand tonnes in Wales and 11 thousand tonnes in Northern Ireland over their lifetime (Table 4.2b).

Table 4.2b Woodland Carbon Code projects1 at 31 March 2019

  England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Number of projects     
Awaiting validation 18 33 28 0 79
    Validated only 51 9 55 2 117
    Verified 27 3 40 0 70
Total validated 78 12 95 2 187
Total 96 45 123 2 266
Area of woodland (hectares)
Awaiting validation 313 300 8520 0 9134
    Validated only 1207 128 4498 22 5856
    Verified 286 52 2066 0 2404
Total validated 1494 180 6564 22 8261
Total 1807 480 15085 22 17394
Projected carbon sequestration2 (thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)
Awaiting validation 153 106 2501 0 2760
    Validated only 672 85 1563 11 2331
    Verified 165 33 895 0 1093
Total validated 838 118 2458 11 3424
Total 991 224 4959 11 6184

Source: Provisonal Woodland Statistics: 2019 Edition

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: Carbon

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