23 November 2021
Climate change has never been more in the spotlight than now, with the COP26 conference in Glasgow in early November. The world is trying to prepare for huge, yet still unknown changes going forward.
Farm and hill land, which there is an abundance of in Scotland, plays a huge role in capturing carbon. The future of carbon capture and carbon credits is unknown, yet many businesses are trying to be ahead of the game and offset their carbon emissions by purchasing land to plant with forestry. In some cases, these companies offer lucrative deals that seem irresistible and a no brainer. However, the actual price paid may be lower than if put the whole farm or land up for sale in such a buoyant market. We encourage you to take advice and to consider all options before committing to an offer, as it may not be as simple as it first seems.
With the future surrounding climate change unknown, and the carbon market only in the early stages, there is a possibility that farmers and landowners will require carbon credits to offset their own carbon footprint, or that the value of carbon will increase significantly as the market evolves. Selling part of your land or the carbon credits available to your business may leave you short to offset your own business’s carbon output.
Furthermore, farmers and landowners are often tied into existing commitments across their land, such as environmental schemes. Selling your land could have an impact on grant commitments, both management and historical capital claims, and you could risk repaying significant sums of money for historical grant payments if you no longer have control over the land.
If you are sure that selling your land into forestry is the best route for you, make sure you seek professional advice from our surveying team who will consider all commitments and restrictions on your land, and negotiate contracts to ensure any negative impact is reduced.
We encourage landowners to consider all their options. Selling your land for forestry may give you a one-off short-term financial boost but you must look at the bigger picture and consider your own potential future carbon emissions before committing to sell or lease the carbon to a third party. If you are contemplating long-term business continuity and succession, there may be options such as selling only part of your land allowing you to still operate a viable business. Our advice is to not rush decisions, think practically and consider all your options.
Speak to our expert team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to help you make the most out of your farm or land assets.