The Natural Environment Framework: estimating the value of new woodland

How much are new woodlands worth to Wales?

Summary

In 2010 the Welsh Assembly announced a target to create 100,000 hectares of new woodland over a 20-year period. Forest Research carried out economic valuations of expected net benefits based on carbon sequestration, wood production, amenity services, health and agricultural production.

Key findings

The estimates reveal that the creation of new woodland is very cost-effective as a climate change mitigation measure.

  • Overall net present value of the new planting derived over a 100-year time frame ranged from £299 million (lowest estimate) to £8.6 billion (highest estimate)
  • Climate regulation: £901 million–£5.7 billion
  • Wood production: £30,000–£130,000
  • Amenity and health: £402 million–£2.9 billion
  • Agricultural production: -£719 million–£90 million
  • Forestry costs: -£286 million–-£169 million
  • Total carbon sequestration: 44–82 MtCO2

Our work

The Forest Research team considered scenarios involving planting a range of broadleaves (either an ash-sycamore-birch mix, or oak). They also applied novel GIS-based approaches in conjunction with benefit transfer to estimate the amenity and health benefits associated with woodland creation.

Publications

Funding and partners

Commissioned and funded Forestry Commission Wales

Status

The project was completed in 2012.

Contact

Gregory Valatin