Midlands water company, Severn Trent, has launched a programme to fully fund and manage tree planting for farmers and landowners across the region, offering an annual premium payment of £200/ha for the first 10 years, for sites over 8ha in size.
The scheme will cover all aspects of planning, planting, management, and 35 years of maintenance.
Severn Trent will take on all the carbon code paperwork, which covers the registration, validation and verification of the woodland for the full 35 years, when normally a landowner would need to employ an agent to do this.
They will also set each site up with a Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) baseline assessment, which will help landowners attain biodiversity credits, from the local planning authority or property developers, as laid out in the Environment Bill. These credits could be worth approximately £24,710/ha of new woodland created, for 30 years (subject to purchaser's requirements).
This scheme is part of Severn Trent’s partnership with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. As Official Nature & Carbon Neural Supporter, Severn Trent is supporting Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in its pledge to leave a carbon-neutral legacy, which includes the creation of 2,022 acres of native forest across the region.
After the 35-year period, which is the estimated timescale for offsetting the Games, landowners will have the ability to keep or sell the residual carbon credits, making the offering an ideal, hassle and cost-free investment for those looking to leave a legacy for their successors.
The carbon credits from woodland planted as part of this project have the potential to be worth £15,434/ha after the 35-year period (based on current BEIS values).
Severn Trent is also open to working with landowners to develop a more flexible tree planting plan. For instance, they can price match labour costs, if landowners have in-house staff, or we can consider alternative planting techniques, such as agroforestry, if on a large
Estimated figures of the full monetary value of a tree planting project with Severn Trent, based on a desk based assessment of a 20ha site.
Income Stream for a 20ha site
- Premium payment from Severn Trent (year 1-10) - £40,000 over 10 years
- Biodiversity net gain potential (year 1-30) - £80,000 over 30 years
- Potential Carbon Credits (year 35-50) - £308,460*
- Potential income over 50 year period - £428,460 / £21,423 per ha
*Based on current BEIS predicted values
The above income streams exclude any potential income for any future Environmental Land Management (ELM) payment for woodland management. Each proposed site has different tree growing potential and biodiversity gain potential, and the success of these green spaces will rely on the right trees being planted in the right place, but above should provide an indicator of potential income.