Fountains Forestry works with clients to minimise their carbon footprint, manage biodiversity, and create sustainable income streams by establishing renewable energy sources on their properties. Services include:
- 1 Carbon assessment & sequestration
- 2 Wood to energy
- 3 Renewable energy e.g. development of wind farms and hydroelectric schemes
- 4 Conservation and creation of habitats, including ecological surveys
One of the ways that individuals and organisations can offset the carbon they produce daily is by establishing a ‘carbon sink’ in the form of a new woodland or forest.
Fountains Forestry offers a comprehensive service in woodland establishment, from the inception and consultative stage to completion, management, and maintenance of the new woodland. Such projects are registered and validated through the UK Woodland Carbon Code.
Working with technical partners, who can calculate your individual or company’s carbon footprint, we can:
- Advise on different options for offsetting the carbon impact through new planting
- Suggest a possible range of locations and types of woodland to be considered
- Assist in obtaining grants and carbon sequestration funding
- Project manage and implement the planting process
- Manage the woodland on an ongoing basis to maximise value and utilise tax incentives
Wood To Energy
Wood fuel produced in sustainably managed forests is ‘replaced’ by the next crop of growing trees, which will reabsorb the same amount of carbon emitted by the current timber being burned. For this reason, unlike finite reserves of fossil fuel, sustainably managed woodland can produce an endlessly renewable source of energy.
Sustainable management of woodlands for wood fuel is good for wildlife, biodiversity, and woodland health and vigour because the thinning, harvesting and coppicing of trees for wood fuel opens up the woodland floor to sunlight. This encourages more plants, animals, and insects to flourish than if the woodland were left to become dense, dark, and overgrown. Many of our woodlands are also certified to the United Kingdom Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS).This standard ensures that woodland is managed sustainably and to the best environmental standards.
Fountains Forestry’s services include:
Initial project scoping and feasibility studies for woodfuel projects
Planning and supervision of harvesting operations
Marketing of timber and biomass products
Woodchip and log production
Supply chain logistics
Supply contract preparation and negotiation
Capital grant applications and advice on other incentives
The ongoing development of the renewable energy sector offers a potential alternative revenue stream for forest owners, driven by climate control policies and targets for diversifying the nation’s generating capacity. Moreover, government grants and institutional capital are often available for capital investment in heating and power plants fueled by renewables, whether wind power, hydro power, or forest biomass. A number of our clients already benefit from participation in such projects.
Fountains Forestry, working closely with trusted consultancy partners, has already assisted many forest owners in developing wind farms and hydroelectric projects on their properties.
Wind Farms and Hydro Projects
Generation of electricity from wind is still a growing source of renewable energy, in spite of the withdrawal of government subsidised tariffs. As one of the most viable current options for delivering clean energy, wind power has a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions.
Many forests in the UK are suitable locations for developing wind farms. They can provide forest owners and investors with significant additional revenue, subject to planning, infrastructure, and topographical constraints. Fountains Forestry has helped many of its clients exploit this potential to increase their forest revenue and enhance the value of their forestry assets.
Our consultant contacts can assess forest properties for their general suitability to wind farm or hydro-electric development. Factors examined include wind profile, access to the electricity grid, and any planning guidance for the area already issued by local authorities. If located in a suitable location, we then work with partners to invite competitive proposals from various potential developers. Finally, if the wind farm is approved and proceeds to construction, Fountains Forestry agrees with the forest authorities on how the Forest Plan should be adapted to accommodate the development.
CONSERVATION OF CREATION AND HABITATS
Forests and woodlands, and the land around them, provide important habitats for a wide range of wildlife, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and many rare flora. Indeed, several species listed as European Protected Species in the Conservation of Habitats & Species Regulations 2010 are found in our woodlands. These include all 17 species of bats and dormice, the smooth snake, great crested newt, otter, and others.
Fountains Forestry is experienced in the management and protection of wildlife, are conversant and comply with The Wildlife & Countryside Protection Act 1981, as well as exercising good practice in relation to managing woodland without disturbance to badgers, eagles etc. We work closely with government bodies such as Natural England and NatureScot, to ensure that the woodlands we manage are protected from damage and wildlife populations are effectively protected.
Our forest managers are experienced in maintaining and enhancing environmentally sensitive and historically important sites. We are continually working to enhance, maintain and improve within our client’s woodlands:
- Historical landscapes and ancient monuments
- Biological diversity
- Habitats for flora and fauna, particularly birds and mammals
Fountains Forestry is used to carrying out forestry management within all types of environmental designation. We manage many forests within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and within, or adjacent to, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Throughout the UK, we also manage land within National Parks, working with statutory environmental bodies and local organisations. As part of standard operational control, wildlife is protected, and disturbance is managed through statutory license procedures e.g. bats, badgers, and birds of prey.
Creation of Habitats
Fountains Forestry has considerable experience in the creation and enhancement of habitats for rare species such as the Pearl-bordered Fritillary in the south of England to red squirrels and Black Grouse in the Highlands. In the summer months, forest managers liaise with wildlife groups to prevent disturbance to sensitive species of ground-nesting birds by forest operations. Close liaison is maintained between the managers and specialist ornithologists with regard to raptors. Birds such as White-Tailed Eagles, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Goshawk, and Peregrine Falcon all nest and hunt within the woodlands we manage.
Fountains Forestry can also provide ecological surveys, including Phase One and Phase Two Habitat Surveys (as defined by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee) and environmental auditing.