Huge demand for teenage crops in the forestry industry

More than 2500 hectares of forestry – and land suitable for planting – worth more than £34 million is coming to the market.

It is part of Goldcrest Land & Forestry’s Autumn Launch, adding to a bumper year for the forestry industry with UK-wide figures expected to top £300m.

Sales have already overtaken the £200m mark achieved last year and the total calendar figure is likely to be between £300m and £400m, estimates Jon Lambert, partner at Goldcrest Land & Forestry.

Jon said: ‘Interest in British forestry is extremely robust and land previously considered marginal is increasingly precious.’

The demand for teenage crops was the biggest surprise in this market with forests younger than 20 years of age driving competition.

He continued: ‘Timber prices have quietened a little in the second half of the year with prices dipping below the £100/t mark but investors remain confident in timber as a global commodity.

‘Purchasers believe we will see future timber price inflation and are prepared to pay for some of that upfront. We have had some spectacular results in the teenage age class this year.’

As an example, Jon highlighted a 250ha high yielding, teenage conifer plantation in Dumfriesshire, available for offers over £7m.

Goldcrest is in the process of launching eight properties onto the open market, including an £11m estate in the Scottish Borders. Opportunities range from 90 to 1,025 hectares and from plantable hill ground and young plantations to mature conifer forests. Some offer potential for renewable energy income, carbon sequestration and peatland restoration.

Jon said: ‘Undoubtedly, the biggest story this year has been the insatiable appetite and rocketing prices for bare ground suitable for tree planting, an upward trend that has characterised the market in recent years and shows no sign of abating. Grazing hill ground that was worth £3,500/hectare five years ago is now comfortably at £14,000/hectare.’

Properties include Angus hill-ground (124ha) with planting and carbon sequestration potential for sale at offers over £1.4m, and a 495ha upland farm, suitable for forestry planting, in Dumfries and Galloway (offers over £6.75m).

Jon dded: ‘Additionally, businesses and corporations seeking to improve their Social, Environmental and Governance (ESG) credentials have entered the market in high numbers, driven by factors such as generating carbon credits from native broadleaved woodland creation and peatland restoration.

‘From private investors and ESG-motivated buyers to forestry and natural capital institutional funds, relentless demand has underpinned a buoyant year in the forestry industry. As a business we have had a frenetic first year acting for clients on dozens of sales and acquisitions.’

He said a 425ha-farm in Fife with a mix of commercial planting land, marginal ground, peat and sites with solar energy potential, will be an interesting test of the market.

Among the new properties is Westloch Forest Estate, a 1,025ha-forest near Peebles in the Scottish Borders which is available for offers over £11m. It is a young commercial conifer forest on a fertile site producing high yields in a prime location with excellent access to timber processors.

For further details contact Jon Lambert at Goldcrest Land & Forestry Group on 07900 320 475 or email Information available at