4. Environmental quality

Requirement

Guidance

Requirement

  • There shall be woodland design planning documentation which considers the environmental aspects of sustainable forest management set out in the UK Forestry Standard and these standards shall be maintained throughout the duration of the project.
  • Projects shall demonstrate whether or not an Environmental Statement/ EIA report is required under the Environmental Impact Assessment Forestry Regulations. They shall:
    • Provide the Environmental Statement/EIA Report if one was required, or
    • Other evidence that environmental impacts of the project are likely to be positive if no Environmental Impact Assessment is required.

Guidance

Safeguarding / ensuring no harm is done - Environmental Impact Assessment

In order to show that the creation of a Woodland Carbon Code project 'does no harm', all projects should ensure safeguards are in place so they can show that any environmental impacts on the land area concerned are likely to be positive. An Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Statement/EIA Report (where required) will usually cover all issues associated with environmental integrity.

If no Environmental Impact Assessment is required due to scale or nature of project and site, projects should demonstrate in their Project Design Document:

  • Any likely environmental impacts
  • Any rare or endangered species in the project area and how these are taken into account in the project design
  • Any statutory designations in the project area and how these are taken into account in the project design
  • The design has given due regard to the visual, cultural value and character of the local environment

Where a woodland creation grant has been applied for, the information supplied for a grant application will help.

Useful map-based tools in each country can show designated areas or features on or near the project site:

UK Forestry Standard: In order to show that the project is managed with the best possible outcomes for the environment, the project design shall incorporate the environmental aspects of sustainable forest management as set out in the UK Forestry Standard and supporting Guidelines for Climate Change, Soil, Water, Biodiversity, Landscape and Historic Environment. These standards shall be maintained throughout the duration of the project.

BS8632:2021: BSI's standard for Natural Capital Accounting for Organisations: This is a tool to measure changes in the stock of natural capital. Landowners may be interested in considering this approach, though it does not form a part of the Woodland Carbon Code.

Monitoring and making statements about the environmental benefit of a WCC project

Project developers use the Woodland Benefits Tool to present the likely environmental outcomes of their projects. Projects are scored out of five in each area at validation. The Woodland Carbon Code does not yet have a methodology to monitor the benefits over time.

WdldBenefitToolEG

Clarifications  

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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