Matthew Neville

London forestry investment specialist branches out with £5.5m double acquisition

Foresight Sustainable Forestry Company, a London based investment company that invests in UK forestry and afforestation assets, has announced the acquisitions of two afforestation sites, Burn of Bellyhack and Red Craig & Glen Burn.

The sites are both located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and have a total area of 359 hectares, increasing the total area of FSF’s portfolio to 8,474 hectares. The pair of properties were acquired for £5.47m in aggregate, inclusive of tax and other transaction costs.

The first of these two acquisitions is that of Burn of Bellyhack. The 174 hectare site is located near Huntly, Scotland. The local area is well known for highly productive commercial forests and the site has “excellent afforestation potential” in addition to an already established small woodland.

The second acquisition is that of Red Craig & Glen Burn. The sites, aggregating 185 hectares, are two parcels of non-contiguous land, and are also located near Huntly, Scotland. The properties consist of improved grazing and pastureland, with “excellent potential to sustain a commercial afforestation scheme”.

Both acquired sites are currently unconsented for tree planting. Consulting closely with the local community, FSF is set to further develop the preferred planting designs and will progress the afforestation development and application process in line with national and regional regulations.

Under FSF’s ownership, the afforestation sites are expected to deliver material biodiversity improvements. An independent ecologist will be appointed to evaluate the impact on biodiversity of the finalised scheme’s design using the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Biodiversity Metric 3.0 methodology.

Robert Guest, co-head of Foresight Sustainable Forestry Company, commented: “Since the listing of FSF last November, the Company has continued to build on the positive momentum seen in recent months.

“Both sites have strong potential to grow a broad range of different trees at high yield classes and are well-located to deliver a renewable supply of sustainable timber to local wood processing facilities.

“These acquisitions are another step towards our target of increasing the overall percentage of afforestation assets by value in our portfolio to 40 to 50 per cent”.

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