1.1 Key project dates


Project start dates

Project duration

Project end date


  • From 1st October 2022, all projects shall register before work begins onsite (project implementation date)*.
  • Single projects shall be validated within 3 years of registration.  For groups, projects can be added to a group (subject to group rules) up to the point of validation.  Group validation shall be carried out within three years of the date of the first registration within the group.  For single projects or groups, a validation extension will be given in extenuating circumstances.
  • Validation Statements shall only be issued once planting is completed (the project start date).
  • Projects shall have a clearly defined duration and shall not exceed 100 years. Projects involving clearfelling shall have a minimum project duration equal to the shortest clearfell rotation in the project.

This requirement is only checked at validation unless changes are made to the project duration.

*Note registration dates/thresholds were different prior to 1st October 2022, See 2. Register your project - UK Woodland Carbon Code

Project start date and registration 

The project implementation date is the date when work begins onsite, either fencing, deer control, ground preparation or planting, whichever occurs first.  For a project with a combination of planting and natural regeneration, the project implementation date will be the earliest of the two dates.

The project start date is the last day of planting, or for natural regeneration, the date when fencing is complete or deer management has reduced deer numbers to an acceptable level for natural regeneration.  For a project with a combination of planting and natural regeneration, the project start date will be the latest of the two dates.  Carbon sequestration is claimed from the start date.

For groups of projects validated together, the group start date is the latest start date within the group. Carbon sequestration is claimed from the group start date.

The date of registration is the date on which a project moves from ‘Draft’ to ‘Under Development’ status on the UK Land Carbon Registry. This is the date the project is approved by the WCC Secretariat and S&P Global.

Older projects which were registered prior to 1 Jul 2021 and registered after tree planting had started, have to supply evidence to confirm that carbon finance from selling carbon units or 'insetting' (creating your own carbon units) was considered in the planning stages of the project (for example the inclusion in minutes of board meetings or planning documents, cashflow or emails).  

Project duration

The project duration is the time over which carbon sequestration claims are to be made.  The duration can be up to 100 years from the project start date, and for schemes involving clearfelling the minimum duration is the length of the shortest clearfell period in the project.  Many schemes claim carbon for a shorter period (e.g. 40 years for a conifer project managed on a 40 year rotation, or 65-75 years for a native woodland project managed with minimum intervention).  This could be because the landowner does not want to commit for a longer period, or as it is not cost effective to verify carbon sequestration from later vintages.

Project end date

The project end date is the project start date + project duration.  E.g. if project start date is 01/04/2013 and duration is 100 years then end date is 31/3/2113.

The project duration should not be confused with permanence.  All projects shall involve a permanent land-use change to woodland cover.


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