More than 2,500 hectares of forestry – and land suitable for planting – worth more than £34 million is coming to the market in GOLDCREST Land & Forestry’s Autumn Launch, adding to a bumper year for the forestry industry with UK-wide figures expected to top £300m.
Sales have already overtaken the £200m mark achieved last year and the total calendar figure is likely to be between £300m and £400m.
From private investors and buyers motivated by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) credentials to forestry and natural capital institutional funds, interest in British forestry is extremely robust and land previously considered marginal is increasingly precious.
The demand for teenage crops has been the biggest surprise in this market with forests younger than 20 years of age driving competition and achieving spectacular results this year. Log prices have quietened a little in the second half of the year with timber prices dipping below the £100/t mark but investors remain confident in timber as a global commodity. Purchasers believe we will see future timber price inflation and are prepared to pay for some of that upfront.
Goldcrest is in the process of launching eight properties, including an £11m estate in the Scottish Borders. Opportunities range from 90 to 1,025 hectares and from plantable hill ground and young plantations to mature conifer forests. Some offer potential for renewable energy income, carbon sequestration and peatland restoration.
Undoubtedly, the biggest story this year has been the insatiable appetite and rocketing prices for bare ground suitable for tree planting, an upward trend that has characterised the market in recent years and shows no sign of abating.