Lonsdale small woods group
Unique Group ID: 103000000004846
Project developer: James Lonsdale
Previous Land use: Pasture
Group Area: Gross 15.88 ha, Net 13.50 ha, Open Space 2.38 ha
Species Mix: 40% Oak, 25% Birch, 15% Alder, 15% Wild Cherry, Field Maple & Rowan, 5% shrubs
Woodland Management: Minimum intervention.
Estimated Sequestration: Across the group of 4 projects Gross: 6,511 tCO2e Saleable: 5,209 tCO2e Buffer 1,302 tCO2e
Start date: 1st April 2014
This is the first group of small projects validated to the Woodland Carbon Code. All sites are former agricultural land in lowland situations with high initial land purchase values, varying in size from 1.9 to 6.5 hectares. The sites are in close proximity to towns and public rights of way.
Four woodlands are being created: Louisa’s Wood in Carmarthenshire, Barbara’s Wood in Northumberland, and Owen’s Wood & Gill’s Wood in Lincolnshire.
Only a few carbon units from Owen’s wood are still available for sale (Sept 2022). Buyers from these projects know they are purchasing from a project that will provide highly beneficial public access as they are close to urban areas.Landscape and aesthetic value have also been carefully considered; In Gill’s Wood, the planting design was altered to complement views towards the local castle and church.
As this woodland matures and develops, the biodiversity value of the woodlands will undoubtedly increase and buyers of carbon from this site have bought directly into a unique high value ‘natural capital’ resource.
James Lonsdale, landowner says: “As an individual I feel we all need to do what we can to reduce the effects of climate change. As a landowner I wanted to do something tangible and also know what my contribution was going to be. The woodland carbon code allows me to measure how much carbon my woods are sequestrating and also to sell the carbon, which will allow me to buy more land and create more woodland”.
James Lonsdale is the landowner and project developer for the properties and also managed the woodland establishment.
All four woodlands in the group are created with native species designed to flourish and compliment the local landscape value. Trees were established at an average density of 2,500 stems per hectare. The design of the planting plan featured open areas, wide rides and glades, giving a natural, organic design that fits in with the local landscape. Due to the mixture of species from high forest species such as Oak, through to small trees and shrubs a natural texture to the woodlands will be quickly established.
A Group of small, native woodlands, each providing accessible green space to adjacent urban areas. Overall this project will contribute to the wider objective of native woodland in the UK and also creation of highly valuable recreational woodland that is easily accessible to local people, reducing emissions created by access and sequestering carbon dioxide to counter climate change.
Scores (out of 5) for the wider benefits provided by each woodland in the Lonsdale Small Woods Group. Scores calculated using the WCC Woodland Benefits Tool.
Louisa's Wood 2
From a conservation perspective the creation of native woodland with a multi-layer structure, including shrubs, will create a woodland that will have high value for bird and butterfly species and enable the establishment of populations that otherwise would not exist if the landholding remained under pasture. Deadwood levels will be allowed to develop naturally as the no-thin regime creates competition and shading out of smaller trees. Most of the open areas will be left to regenerate naturally, allowing natural succession by local species, particularly as seed trees develop within the planted crop. The presence of open areas will encourage woodland glade species communities such as butterflies and flowering plants to develop and establish themselves.
The woodland is not designed with water quality improvement or flood mitigation in mind, but where aquatic environments occur, these are treated appropriately in the planting plan.
These woodlands are close to built-up areas and will enable access by local people for informal recreation such as dog-walking and jogging and create a sense of local ownership. As the woodlands develop there will be potential for new recreation opportunities to develop e.g. foraging for mushrooms.
These woodlands are not planned to create commercial opportunities beyond the sale of carbon. Overall these projects will contribute to the wider objective of native woodland in the UK and also creation of highly valuable recreational woodland that is easily accessible to local people, reducing emissions created by access and sequestering carbon dioxide to counter climate change.