Deadline announced for next Woodland Carbon Guarantee auction in England

s300 Woodland Carbon Guarantee photo

Farmers, foresters and other land managers in England are being encouraged to apply for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme ahead of the eighth auction, which will take place online from 23-29 September. The deadline to apply is Friday 6 September 2024.

Administered by the Forestry Commission, the Woodland Carbon Guarantee is a £50m scheme that aims to help accelerate woodland planting rates and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and has already resulted in nearly 3,000 hectares of new woodland across the country.

£20m is now available as part of the eighth auction, for farmers and land managers in England to create new woodlands to help tackle the effects of climate change, providing new income in the form of long-term payments for the amount of carbon a new woodland will store. Woodland creation also provides a wealth of other benefits from helping to reverse biodiversity decline and increasing green jobs to aiding physical and mental health.

Following an online auction process, successful bidders will be offered the option to sell woodland carbon in the form of Woodland Carbon Units – a financial value given to each tonne of carbon stored – to the Government up to 2055 at a guaranteed price protected against inflation. The scheme reflects the Government’s confidence in the continued growth of markets for woodland carbon, as landowners will continue to benefit from a reliable revenue stream in selling carbon on the domestic market.

For the first time, the auction will be opened up to farmers, foresters and land mangers whose projects are not currently in receipt of Government funding to allow an even greater number of woodlands to benefit from the auction. These projects will have access to a higher, undisclosed reserve price per Woodland Carbon Unit. Projects can still receive the Woodland Creation Planning Grant to support the design process and remain eligible for this new category. 

Read more on the website

Event | Monitoring and verifying webinar








Date: Wednesday 24 April

Time: 2pm to 2.45pm

Venue: Online via Microsoft Teams

Would you like to find out more about monitoring and verifying Woodland Carbon Code projects? Join us for a free webinar to learn about the process and ask any questions you have. 

The session will be presented by the Woodland Carbon Code Manager, Vicky West, and our Monitoring Advisor, Leon Debell.

We will share a recording of the webinar shortly. 

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We’re now working to implement these changes. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any further suggestions on how we can improve our communications. 

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Blog | Exploring new technologies to monitor trees


A profile photo of Leon Debell


International Day of Forests is held on 21 March each year to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of forests and trees.

With this year’s theme focusing on innovation, we caught up with the Woodland Carbon Code’s new monitoring advisor, Leon DeBell, to find out about his work.



Can you tell us a bit about your role? 

My role is about researching, investigating and trying to establish a clear set of guidelines or methodologies for using remote sensing technology such as drone derived and satellite imagery. This could include photograph style images or images created from wavelengths beyond the normal human spectrum.  


What types of technology are you exploring? 

We’re investigating technologies for both the physical collection of data and the processing of it. An example would be: 

  1. Using a drone to collect aerial photographs and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) data
  2. Processing these photos and data into products such as high resolution aerial orthomosaic images or canopy height models
  3. Using software or code to analyse these products to count the number of trees at a site or determine their height and size to calculate the volume of carbon being sequestered

At any stage of this process, changes in method can have an impact on the final result, so understanding these combination relationships is really important. 

 A drone with trees in the background

Will you be running trials? 

Yes, we have a number of trials lined up for the next 12 months. We will look at a range of methods and approaches across a variety of five and 15-year verification sites.

If you have a Woodland Carbon Code project and are interested in helping pilot new ways of measuring carbon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!


How could these technologies benefit Woodland Carbon Code projects?

Some of the key benefits might include: 

  • Improved health and safety for surveying sites
  • Gathering reliable data for whole sites, rather than just from plots within them
  • More precise calculations of woodland carbon
  • Recycling data to improve future models and calculations
  • Improved ability to track projects across shorter timespans (i.e. updates less than every 10 years)
  • Reductions in cost and time burdens for our partners and clients, which could help to encourage more projects   


What challenges do you face? 

There are a mix of challenges to adapt to. For a five-year verification, we’re interested to see that a new woodland plantation is growing as expected, that there’s no major health concerns and the correct number of trees are growing for what was calculated from the outset.  

This differs from a 15-year verification, where we also include information on tree species, size and height for the carbon calculations. Mixed broadleaf or natural regeneration present very different challenges compared to the more regular structure of planted conifer sites. 

You then have to add in the range of technologies available. It’s a case of trying to establish the right and most accurate tool for each of those jobs, from the type of data collected to which type of processing to use.

A rainbow over a tree plantation site 

How did you get into monitoring? 

I’ve been involved in monitoring and remote sensing in a variety of forms for about ten years now. It all started with a project I was part of through the University of Exeter, developing a new drone remote sensing platform which used thermal cameras to detect surface water in peatlands. It was a really great time to be involved. It was pretty much the start of the boom period in academia for drone remote sensing, so there were a lot of fun and exciting projects that followed on from that! 


What’s the most exciting part of your job? 

I’m a real tech geek, at home and at work. I just love technology. I also have conservation and ecology at the heart of everything I like to do. Add in researching, problem solving and being able to combine these all together for a project that has a meaningful impact for the future brings me a lot of joy. It’s a really well-defined recipe for me! 


For more information on Leon’s work, visit our remote sensing webpage.

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We’ve devised a short survey to capture your views and inform our communications strategy. Quick and easy to complete, it should take no more than six minutes of your time.  

The survey is open until Sunday 3 March and respondents will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw to WIN a £20 Not on the High Street voucher.

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Project launched to develop standard buyer-seller contract

A photo of some new trees next to some older ones







We've launched a new project to develop a standard buyer-seller contract for Pending Issuance Units and Woodland/Peatland Carbon Units. The work is being supported by NatureScot in collaboration with the Scottish Government and in partnership with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, through the Facility for Investment Ready Nature in Scotland. 

The project aims to support smaller-scale and community participants in carbon markets. It also hopes to support the market by: 

  • Making the process of contracting easier 
  • Reducing transaction costs
  • Increasing the integrity of codes/standards and confidence in their use 

We hope a standard contract will help landowners, tenants, community groups and buyers to participate in nature markets with greater confidence. 

We’ll be working throughout 2024 and are aiming for the first contract to be ready for use in spring 2025. We will invite the views and experience of a range of landowners, developers and carbon credit buyers.  

We’ll provide more information in our newsletter and on our project webpage as the project develops. You can also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Nature Market Contracts Project Manager, to find out more. 

2021 March 24: WCC Version 2.1 Published

We’ve published a new version of the WCC today and there are some key changes for project developers and landowners to note: 

There is a new standard document, and new template documents for all stages (registration, validation and verification).  If you haven’t yet started on your documentation, please use the new Version 2.1 documents (Version 2.4 for the carbon calculator).  

Registration:  After 30 June 2021, projects have to be registered BEFORE PLANTING STARTS

  • If you planted this winter (20/21) and were planning on registering, make sure you submit by 30 June 2021.
  • If you are planting next winter (21/22), make sure you register before you plant.

Registration, Validation or Verification:  If you have started preparing documents for any of these stages, you have until 30 June 2021 to submit your project using the current version of documents.  After that date all projects must be submitted on the new Version 2.1 documents (Version 2.4 for the Carbon Calculator).  

Key changes/ additions to the guidance:

  • Additionality:  We have created a new WCC Cashflow Spreadsheet with a Guidance Document to help you complete it.
  • Carbon Calculation:  We have added options for natural colonisation/ regeneration, made some cosmetic changes to the WCC Carbon Calculation spreadsheet and added a new Guidance Document.
  • Monitoring your project:  We have added further information about monitoring your project including:
    • An updated survey protocol
    • Further guidance on monitoring from year 15 onwards including
      • Full Monitoring and verification procedures
      • Basic Monitoring and verification for projects who use the small projects calculator
      • A Self-Assessment option which can be used if certain criteria are met.


Carbon market open for business

UK businesses can now instantly reduce their carbon footprints by purchasing credits created by forestry projects.

Under the Woodland Carbon Code, companies looking to compensate for any unavoidable UK-based emissions and reduce their impact on the global climate can buy credits from carbon forestry projects.

Read more ...

Version 2.0 of the WCC launched:

  • Woodland Carbon Code Version 2.0 launched:
    • Widened the definition of a 'single project'
    • Integrated 'small woods' process - A group can contain both 'standard' and 'small' projects.
    • Integrated verification process
    • New section 1.4 Conformance with the UK Forestry Standard
    • 1.6 New Additionality Spreadsheet
    • 2.1 Combined sections on landowner and group manager commitments
    • 2.2 Clarified mapping rules
    • 2.3 Change to 'single rate' 20% WCC Buffer contribution
    • 2.4 Separate consultation section (moved from 5 Social Responsibility)
    • 2.6 Clarified registry use including new 'assignment' function
    • 2.7 Removed required to list carbon buyers in PDD
    • 4 Environmental Quality and 5 Social Responsibility - Links to the WCC Woodland Benefits Tool to assess wider benefits.
  • Documents (Project Design Document V2.0, Project Progress Report V2.0):
    • Updated versions of both documents which can be used for either a single project or a group.  After 08 June 2018 all documents submitted to validator/verifier have to be on new templates. 
    • New Additionality Spreadsheet available.
  • Carbon Calculation:
    • Updated WCC Carbon Lookup Tables V2.0 and WCC Carbon Calculation Spreadsheet V2.0 & Guidance.  Existing project developers need to use/download the new versions of both.
    • Updated Carbon Assessment Protocol V2.0.  Anyone conducting a year 15 monitoring survey will need to consult this version.

Woodland Carbon Guarantee

Find out how to apply for the option to sell Woodland Carbon Units to government (England only).

Deadline for next auction: Friday 6 September 2024.

Register your planned project with the Woodland Carbon Code and the Guarantee team now.


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