Evaluation of the Better Woodlands for Wales grant scheme


Did the funding achieve its key objective in climate change mitigation?


Woodland officer gives advice to woodland owners on Better Woodlands for Wales grant scheme at Smallholders show 2010Between 2006 and 2010 the Better Woodlands for Wales (BWW) scheme granted around £13 million to support the creation of new woodlands and to secure environmental and community benefits from existing woodland. Forest Research used a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate the impact of the scheme.

Better Woodlands for Wales, new planting scheme of native woodland. Owners Sarah and Richard Hayes, near Llanfair Caereinion,Key Findings

  • Net increase in carbon emissions over the first four years – caused by disturbance of soil carbon and emissions from planting operations
  • Net carbon sequestration over 20 years – new woodland will sequester 3,300-31,500 tCO2 (valued using 2012 prices at £64,000 to £1.9 million over the period 2008-2027)
  • Biodiversity benefits - valued between £1,000 (low estimate for new coniferous woodland) to £1 million (high estimate for broadleaved woodland)
  • Funding was critical – half of grant recipients said the grant scheme was central to their decision to plant
  • Scheme design - successfully encouraged short- and medium-term planning of woodland as a holistic enterprise
  • Better woodland management – the scheme helped to improve standards of woodland management across Wales
  • Diverse recipients and objectives – grants awarded to a wide range of woodland owners (from community groups and voluntary organisations to commercial forestry companies), covering a broad spectrum of woodland management objectives


  • Evaluation of the Better Woodlands for Wales Grant Scheme
  • Funders and partners

    Commissioned and funded by Forestry Commission Wales.




    Bianca Ambrose-Oji