Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Effect on land value by planting woodland?  (Read 4993 times)

spandit

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • East Sussex
    • Sussex Forest Garden
Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« on: September 28, 2013, 03:38:03 am »
Further to my visit from the Woodland Trust, I have been getting very excited at the thought of owning my own woodland. However, a colleague of mine remarked that it would lower the property value by removing half the paddocks. We're not intending on moving any time soon and from reading on here. 5 acres isn't enough to make a fortune but do you think he's right?
sussexforestgarden.blogspot.co.uk

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 07:35:06 am »
I think it depends on the size and quality of the land on the rest of your holding. Here I have seen and spoken to farmers who are planting up wet bits and odd shaped or hard to reach corners, etc, rather than planting up their best paddocks.
I wanted to plant up about 2acres of a slopey, stoney bit of ground that been out of use for years... A farmer told me that any newish woodland was worth less per acre than even this bit of waste land just left alone.

If I had good grazing fields, I would be more inclined to plant specimen trees or small copses to add interest and shelter, and because I love the shape and look of huge spreading trees that have grown all their life without competition, rather than the straight, timber look of the same species. (but thats just me! - if your dream is to own and walk through a woodland then go for it!)

henchard

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 08:41:17 am »
Yep depends on the quality of the land. You'd be mad to plant a lot of acres on grade 1 arable land in Lincolnshire as the value would drop from say 12K an acre to 3 or 4K.

But on more marginal land it is not an issue. Most farmers plant their steep bits or corners that they can't get their bigger machines into. I've heard of welsh farmers planting steep areas because they don't want their children driving tractors on the steep dangerous bits (where they themselves did!). We planted 5 or 6 acres of fairly steep land and I could have technically lowered the value of the land a bit - but not much; on the other hand I do get the Woodland Creation Payment for 15 years.

Our motivation was probably the 'feel good' factor we wanted to leave a legacy for the future - one day long after we've gone there will be a traditional wood providing habitat for wildlife etc.

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Fife
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Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 08:45:37 am »
I think it would decrease the commercial value, yes.  Look at agents that sell woodlands and the ones that sell agriculturally usable land and the price per acre is much lower.  Most buyers for small acreages want something they can graze livestock or grow things on, trees are a long term crop - several years for christmas trees, 30 odd years for commercial timber.  Most new planting is either land without a water supply for stock or too steep for access or too uneven or too boggy/rocky for most other uses, or odd shelter belts that protect the crop/livestock rather than earn money themselves.

That isn't to say don't do it, if you want a woodland for environmental or leisure purposes or just to walk dogs in then that's your use for it, but if you were looking at it for future sale value, no, not an economically good choice.  A 5 acre paddock will net you far more among horseowners or smallholders able to use it for grazing or growing than from someone else who wants to walk their dog or make their kids a tree house or otherwise enjoy the amenity value.
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shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 09:08:30 am »
we bought 70 acres of woodland 10 yrs ago (13yrs old then)  which was 70% covered in trees and i geniunely think the land is devalued.
land gets snapped up around here but this was on the market for over a year before we paid 1k an acre when other farm land was going for 4k an acre.
local farmers said planting my farm with trees was "criminal" as it was really good farm land before - it was bought by a non-farmer who made about 50k profit in grants by planting it (according to gossip) before we bought it.
we are left with a loads of trees and not eligible for any grants as the previous owner took everything possible in one go. the hardwood sections are a mess of 4ft thistles and ragwort. we have grazed it hard with ponies, sheep,cattle and pigs but its still a weedy mess. walking the dogs is tricky because of the weeds. i cant use a tractor between the trees so everything is done by hand with is exhausting. we have tried chopping the trees down but are left with stumps so dont under estimate the physical labour and time it takes to chop trees down and return to useable land - or how much it costs to pay someone (i was quoted 8k to chop down 5 acres of small trees without stump removal)
we are moving away for the management and the animals sake, we really need square grazing fields.
our mistake was at the beginning that the trees were small and we didnt really realise the extent that was planted. we got animals to tidy up the farm as it was so scruffy, but at the end of the day, the animals deserve better.

the fir trees areas are lovely now as we have cut walking tracks through - but it will need thinning at some point. girth wise they arent big enough to have much value except firewood but are still 40ft high, so how im going to manage without paying for someone to help is beyond me.
there is a wood not far from us that was cut down for timber and looks a real mess, but luckily they are close to the road where as my fields arent so large lorries would struggle with access. there is another wood which was completely burnt down, and another which are literally falling over full grown, roots and all, which has devalued the timber into firewoods as the whole woods are a health and safety hazard.
on our farm the centre areas were planted which was good dry ground- leaving any useable fields on the perimeter of the farm , which are all boggy ground. why they didnt plant the boggy ground and leave good grazing parks near the house, iv no idea. its a 30 min walk to check the farthest fields when there is livestock down there.

if you have livestock amongst the trees, if takes along time to find them as the trees obscure the view. so if an animal is sick or caught in a fence you can be looking for them in a panic, whereas in a grazing park, you can see them in an instant.

once you plant trees, the ragwort will come.
when we move we could rent the land out - but who wants to rent a wild over grown wilderness? (pm me if you do!!) it will quite possibly be left to nature which isnt a good investment of 70k. id like to give my kids the option of selling the land for building as we are in the centre of the village but how the trees roots would affect value is another matter as time is money.

not trying to put you off, but thats our experience.

on the plus side we have a big herd of wild deer (though im sure you have to agree to cull them in your application), plenty of hares, foxes etc.

having a few acres next to your house is premium value as people want a pony etc. investment wise i wouldnt plant trees.
the council-run woodlands around here are well ,managed and lovely but they have huge teams of employees that spray, strim, lay paths etc and have all the man power and machinery to do this. dont under estimate the effort if it is just yourself managing it.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 09:16:03 am by shygirl »

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 10:13:21 am »
And if you ever want planning permission for houses remove the trees first as otherwise the Council environmental people will slap TPOs on them.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 10:43:02 am »
you can remove 5 cubic metres per quarter without a license. its just expensive and physical unless you have your own machinery and workforce.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 10:58:20 am »
Yes, but the point I was making was to do it before submitting an application.  I only had four trees (3 old Beech and an Ash) and my stupid architect said oh it's Ok we'll just show them as being removed before clearing the site - Council mannie slapped TPOs on. So we have to work round them and protect them while the site is being cleared.  My Arboriculturalist gave them a maximum of 20 to 40 years left.  Council mannie didn't agree.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2013, 11:01:57 am »
yes, i agree. i looked at planning rules here when we wanted a horse arena. paying someone to look at your trees seemed daft so we cut the down first.  ::)

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2013, 03:59:36 pm »
I suppose it depends on why or what you want woodland for?
We had about 4 acres planted up by a local group, they do any maintenance and replanting but get the grants for 10 years, amazing 2 years have gone already, then the trees are ours, firewood, wood for fencing etc, coppicing for willow weaving, plus the trees we had put in to help wildlife, I'm looking forward to it being ours to manage.
It is on the North side of the fields, on poor often wet land, full of rushes and thistles, which we COULD have improved (with time and difficulty), and some comes up the west (windward) side of a field, so will give shelter, along with hedges we have planted. I love going down there and walking through seeing how they are growing.
Why not have a wide strip down the sides of the paddocks to also provide shelter, would still give you a walk under the trees, some management to do but lots of interest and opportunities.
 - Just over the valley someone bought some GOOD fields, planted them up and says the grants will pay for the fields in 4 years. Now that I think is wrong, that was good grazing land, kept in good condition by the previous farmer (who didn't approve of all this tree planting).

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 04:32:19 pm »
Its worth looking into government grants - it wont be a profitable use of land without the grants if you have your own labour accounted for.

Lots of woodland is sold and exchanged for the 'future' profititabiltiy and made from set in stone grants.

nic99

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2013, 11:42:10 am »
Don't do it!! Trust me, you will regret it. About 15 years ago, my husband's parents turned about half their farm into woodland with a grant from the forestry commission. They needed the money at the time, but in hindsight it is such a shame they did it. The land is now worth way way less than it would have done if they had left it as pasture. The woodland cannot be used for anything. It is not even any good for firewood, as the trees are all too small and skinny.
 
We have inherited a couple of the fields that trees were planted on and have to wait another 15 years before we are allowed to thin out the trees and do something useful with the land like graze sheep under them in the summer. Even if we were able to take all the trees out again (which is a major undertaking in itself and will cost an absolute fortune), the land could never be used for arable crops due to all the tree roots that would be left behind. The roots have also buggered up all the field drains so we are having problems with flooding. There are large parts which turn into bogs in Autumn/winter and of course, we can't put new drains in cos the trees are in the way!

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2013, 01:23:46 pm »
plus if you have fir trees which arent fenced off and you put sheep in to eat the grass down, the pine needles stick in the fleece and become very painful for the handler and no doubt sheep.

its odd cos i love walking dogs through the woods, but mine which are now 20 yrs old arent like the 100yr old trees im used when forest walking.
planting willow for the fire would be a useful option tho if you are prepared for the manual work. but grantwise - out trees werent allowed to be cut for 12yrs as a condition.

spandit

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • East Sussex
    • Sussex Forest Garden
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2013, 09:56:48 pm »
The Woodland Trust are happy for me to plant native species to coppice for fuel. Non-coppice species wouldn't grow big enough in 12 years anyway. Some interesting arguments here, has made me think
sussexforestgarden.blogspot.co.uk

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Effect on land value by planting woodland?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2013, 09:06:49 am »
As per nic99: A friend of mine was advised to plant a band of willow as a riverside margin, buggered up all her field drains - Lovely idea, but be careful of.

 

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