Investing in Afforestation
Economic aspects of woodland creation for timber production
The decision to invest in an afforestation project with the primary aim of producing timber may involve many personal and environmental factors alongside financial considerations. Adoption of a forestry enterprise within a farming unit represents a change in land use and a long-term investment of land, labour and resources. Financial evaluation provides a structured and objective means to inform the decision and allows comparison of afforestation with other economic uses of land.
Afforestation projects can take a number of forms, from planting steep areas or wet corners of a farm to integrating timber trees with agricultural production or establishing plantation woodlands. Some afforestation projects such as commercial plantation woodlands have the potential to produce quality timber products alongside diversifying farm incomes and providing other environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration and flood risk mitigation.
This series of guidance notes provides practical information for farmers and other landowners interested in investing in forestry. It is designed to help develop a first understanding of economic evaluation of afforestation projects. The six guidance notes of the series introduce the basic steps involved in the assessment of such projects to allow some preliminary due diligence when considering an investment in forestry. This does not replace a full assessment and advice by a chartered forest manager.
Funded with support from the Welsh Government.