The production of woodchips and pellets for biomass boilers offers opportunities to profit from neglected coppice woodlands, conifer thinnings, under-managed broadleaf forests and poor quality material that would otherwise be considered waste.
The Renewable Heat Incentive was confirmed in the spending review and is due to be introduced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in Summer 2011. Interest-free loans are available from the Carbon Trust for the purchase and installation of biomass boilers and in Scotland there are proposals to allow landowners to continue receiving the Single Farm Payment on newly created woodland areas. Commercial woodlands are still exempt from CGT and Inheritance Tax, and funding is also available to help manage woodland as a Low Impact Silvicultural System which underlines environmental credentials and boosts income. All these factors mean the viability of developing woodchip or pellet production is looking more promising. An estate we manage in Scotland is now self-sufficient in woodchips and is selling to the public and local businesses.
Aside from fuel production, we can advise on achieving Forestry Stewardship Council certification. Many retailers will only source timber from FSC-certified sources. We can also advise on the Woodland Assurance Standard which certifies that the estate is growing and harvesting responsibly and helps to ensure demand for timber.
The outlook for the timber industry is promising but opportunities are still mostly in local and niche markets, but grant aid and tax exemptions mean woodlands are playing an increasing role in strategic estate planning.
For more information, complete this form or contact on of our experts in forestry and woodland.