Competitive bidding for forestry and woodland has seen values surge to record levels across the UK.
Forestry property worth £200.18 million was traded in 2020, with the average cost of a forest property more than doubling from £1.56m in 2019 to £3.28m in 2020.
The latest UK Forest Market Report produced by Tilhill and John Clegg and Co, highlighted a 39 per cent increase in forestry values from £11,749 per stocked hectare in 2019 to £15,962 per stocked hectare in 2020.
Bruce Richardson, head of investment and property, Tilhill, said: “We have seen a truly astonishing year for forestry values.
"Despite the problems with the Covid-19-related restrictions, the UK forestry market has performed robustly through 2020, producing record results in scale and unit prices. This year most properties were sold above guide price.”
Demand for younger restock sites as opposed to mature forests has been higher this year, with Mr Richardson putting this down to investor confidence in the future of the timber market.
This is because improved varieties of spruce, a result of many years of genetic research, have been planted in recent years and are performing well.
Other significant drivers for people owning forestry include moves to decarbonise the economy which are backed by Government policy, the emphasis on renewable and sustainable raw materials and the desire for positive environmental PR.
Scotland provided the largest share of the commercial forest market at 69 per cent (by value).
Planting in England has increased by 2,330ha, up from 1,420ha last year. Wales planted 80ha, the lowest annual figure seen in 50 years.