2.1 Commitment of landowners and project developers / group managers




The landowner (or where land is tenanted, both the landowner and the tenant) shall commit to:

  • Conform to this standard
  • Permanent land-use change
  • Manage the land as per the management plan for the establishment period and as per the longer-term management intentions for the project duration and beyond (2.3)
  • Comply with the law (1.4) and conform with the UK Forestry Standard (1.5)
  • Restock where projects involve harvesting (2.5)
  • Replant or undertake alternative planting should woodland area be lost due to wind, fire, pests, disease or development (2.3)
  • Inform future landowner(s) and, where land is tenanted, future tenant(s), of the commitment to the Woodland Carbon Code and any carbon contracts (2.3)
  • Monitor and maintain verification for the project duration as per Woodland Carbon Code guidance (unless the third party project developer agrees to take this on - 2.5)
  • If there is a loss of woodland carbon, notify the Woodland Carbon Code Secretariat immediately and submit a loss report within six months of discovery (2.3)
  • Ensure the project, any Pending Issuance Units listings, sales to carbon buyers and retirement for use of verified Woodland Carbon Units are accurately represented and up to date in the UK Land Carbon Registry (either in their own account or via the project/group manager's account - 2.6)
  • Make true and accurate carbon statements about the project which conform with guidance (2.7)
  • Abide by the Woodland Carbon Code logo rules of use

Commitment statements shall include the project name and be signed and dated by the landowner.

Where land is owned in trust, or by a company, charity or partnership, then either the landowner themselves or the legal signatory or signatories shall sign the landowner commitment statement. Where land is jointly owned, then all joint owners shall sign unless one landowner has authority to sign on behalf of joint owners. Where the signee is not the sole owner, they shall confirm their authority to sign.

The project developer or group manager shall commit to:

  • Conform to this standard.
  • Comply with the law (1.4) and conform with the UK Forestry Standard (1.5).
  • Monitor and maintain verification for the project duration as per WCC guidance (unless the landowner has agreed to take this on – 2.5).
  • Ensure the project, any PIU listings, sales to carbon buyers, retirement for use of verified Woodland Carbon Units is accurately represented and up to date in the UK Land Carbon Registry (2.6).
  • Only sell carbon units which are validated and verified to a standard which is endorsed in the UK Environmental Reporting Guidelines (2.6).
  • Make true and accurate carbon statements about the project which comply with guidance (2.7).
  • Make carbon buyers aware of the WCC guidance on carbon claims and ensure this is included in contracts with buyers (2.7).
  • Abide by the WCC logo rules of use and make carbon buyers and landowners aware of the WCC logo rules of use.

Groups shall have a nominated Group Manager and a formal management structure between members. Groups shall have a Group Agreement which sets out:

  • The name of the group, its size and geographic scope and any other limitations on membership.
  • The name and contact details of the Group Manager and the arrangements for replacing the Group Manager should this be necessary
  • The name and contact details of the constituent landowners (and land managers if there are any).
  • Details of the projects covered by the agreement (unique IDs, project names, locations and areas).
  • Each project's liability for the group’s carbon rights and commitments (including consideration of whether the carbon is sold collectively or individually).
  • The group's management structure and any other group rules.
  • If not specified separately, the commitments of each landowner and the group manager as outlined above.
  • Signatures of the group manager, all the landowners, and land managers if there are any.
  • The roles and responsibilities of the Group Manager and the group members as set out in guidance below.


Landowner / Project Developer Commitments

This section brings together in one place all the commitments required of the landowner and/or project developer. Some of these commitments are referred to in more detail in other sections of the code, but are shown together here for clarity.

There may be more than one party involved in the management of a Woodland Carbon Code project. A landowner could develop their own project or contract a third party. A group manager is effectively a project developer for several projects working together for validation/verification. Whichever setup applies, there are a number of commitments that each party involved in Woodland Carbon Code projects should make.

The Project Developer or Group Manager needs to be legally constituted such that they can enter a service contract with the validation/verification body.

The Group Agreement

Once validated as a group, it is anticipated that groups will continue to work together for the duration of their projects/the Group Agreement.

The group manager should:

  • Maintain a register of members of the group and the individual planting projects covered by the group scheme.
  • Ensure the requirements of the contract between the group manager and the constituent group members are adhered to.
  • Establish and implement a system of document control and record keeping, holding copies of documents as required by the Woodland Carbon Code.
  • Act as the main point of contact with the Woodland Carbon Code Secretariat, the validation/verification body and the UK Land Carbon Registry.
  • Register the projects in the group on the UK Land Carbon Registry and coordinate the project-group design.
  • Lead on project-group validation and ongoing verification including addressing corrective actions for non-conformities.
  • Inform group members of relevant developments.
  • Deal with complaints relevant to Woodland Carbon Code validation/verification.
  • Revise the Group Agreement (as necessary) with any changes to the group membership or terms.
  • Commit to the other terms for project developers as detailed above.

Group members should:

  • Abide by the Group Agreement.
  • Inform successor landowner(s) of their commitment to the group. 
  • Allow the group manager to apply for Woodland Carbon Code validation/verification on their behalf.
  • Supply information required by the group manager and agree to internal audit by the group manager.
  • Take any corrective action required by the group manager to address non-conformities.
  • Commit to other terms for landowners as detailed above.

Group Agreements should be signed and dated by all parties.



We’ve provided clarifications to the current version of the code.

Please read clarification 1 alongside Woodland Carbon Code Version 2.2.


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