THE commercial forestry sector has remained buoyant in Scotland amid the downturn triggered by the coronavirus with measures to slow climate change fuelling demand for woodland.

Specialists at John Clegg & Co surveyors said a range of investors from the UK and overseas are showing strong interest in woodland with demand for some kinds of properties running ahead of supply.

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Senior director Jon Lambert noted that the commercial conifer market is particularly robust with prices set to continue rising in the second half of the year.

He added: “There is significant interest in planting land opportunities, but they are few and far between and highly competitive. Potential sellers of marginal upland sites have a great opportunity to benefit from high prices and frothy demand.”

The increased interest may be driven by the potential to generate returns on woodland investment by selling associated carbon credits to firms that are looking to comply with emissions regulations.

John Clegg said interest in carbon trading is accelerating.

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Mr Lambert noted the lockdown has resulted in a big backlog of demand for timber building supplies which may lead to price inflation.

John Clegg is bringing nine woodlands in Scotland to the market on behalf of a range of owners, and four in England.

The one with the highest selling price in Scotland, Badvoon Forest in Sutherland, is on sale for offers over £5,750,000. John Clegg said Badvoon offers a substantial volume of maturing timber and benefits from a good internal road network and proximity to key timber processing facilities

The property in Scotland with the lowest selling price, offers over £110,000, is Tombuidhe Wood near Loch Fyne in Argyll.

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Mr Lambert said several woodlands and forests launched onto the market pre lockdown had gone under offer or had been sold in the last three months.

He added: “Where sales had already been agreed – or those which have been agreed during lockdown – lawyers have managed to complete in a high percentage of cases, despite initial delays in Scotland due to the reduced capacity of Registers of Scotland.”