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Investment in land is a complex subject. Purchasing decisions are often based on multiple parameters each attributed different degrees of importance. Land based investments have historically delivered secure long term value growth and have often proved resilient to cyclical changes in the general economy. Forestry investments combine the advantages of a secure land based product coupled with the predictable, measurable biological growth of a timber crop and a favourable fiscal regime. UK forestry is traditionally low risk, and investors are able to insure against losses from fire or storm damage.
Timberland also has substantial 'soft' investment benefits which are more difficult to measure in terms of value and rank differently in terms of importance between investors. These include:
- Sustainable production of a natural raw material
- Carbon capture and storage
- Amenity, health and wellbeing benefits associated with ownership
- Excellent opportunities for fieldsports and outdoor recreation
- Ecological, conservation and wildlife interests
The diverse nature of forestry and timberland properties holds appeal to a wide spectrum of investors, both sentiment and yield driven. Whether you are an institution, company, individual, or conservation charity there are likely to be a range of investments that suit your criteria.
A traditional method of investment was to establish new woodland on land either already owned or purchased specifically for this purpose. This investment category has been supported through various fiscal or grant aid mechanisms, currently with different criteria depending on the geographical location, generally available on a tax free basis. In Scotland grant support is delivered through the Scottish Rural Development Programme, in England the Woodland Grant Scheme and in Wales the Better Woodlands for Wales scheme. This type of investment is best suited for capital growth, with income receivable in the longer term. Suitability of land for planting is not straightforward and our advisors thoroughly research each individual parcel before making a recommendation to invest.
Investment in existing timberland
Forests and woodlands of any age can be purchased on the open market. Timberland with a younger age profile is more suited to capital growth or for preserving wealth between generations, whilst a more mature property offers shorter term income from timber sales. In a larger forest or portfolio of properties age class will often be diversified allowing for a more wide ranging investment, offering the prospect of a running yield from timber sales, coupled with capital growth and wealth preservation. Timberland investments vary considerably in quality and our advisors' experience ensures that only suitable timberland investments are recommended.
At Scottish Woodlands we recognise that whatever your investment ethos, the decision to invest in forestry must be based on clear objectives set within deliverable performance standards. We offer a bespoke service tailored to meet the needs of a wide range of investors drawing on years of experience gained in a variety of disciplines. To avoid any potential conflict of interest we act mainly for buyers and are dedicated to ensuring your money is invested in suitable property assets.
Land and Estate Management
For city based or overseas investors devolved management is a key consideration. Our belief is that property assets should be managed in a succinct and business like manor so that investors are fully able to appreciate their property safe in the knowledge that their asset is being made to work for them. Our Investment Department offers a wide range of land management and consultancy services covering both forestry and other land based property. We manage a number of rural estates for investment clients interested in multi-discipline land use, but without wanting the complications of day to day management often from a base remote from the property. The service is tailored to meet individual requirements and includes property and facilities management, property letting, business planning, client accounting and VAT administration, staff management, planning and development, agricultural and sporting management. Where we are unable to offer a service we can advise on and recommend suitable service providers taking on the role of Project Manager or client liaison.
As well as traditional land management our Department has excellent experience in the acquisition and management of prime sporting properties, with expert knowledge of shoot and deer forest management. Furthermore, the forest market can offer excellent stalking and rough shooting opportunities for enthusiasts often at capital values which are much lower than on recognised sporting estates, and we can assist in developing forest restructuring proposals, deer management plans, or in the letting of surplus sport. Our management services are run from our Head Office in Edinburgh.
Investment & Estates Manager: Andrew Crompton
Telephone: +44(0)131 451 5154
As well as our specialist services in investment acquisitions and the provision of land management services our Investment Department offers the following range of professional services:
- Planning & Development
- Rural Property Reviews & Business Consultancy
- Rural Valuations
- Client Accounting & Payroll Services
- Commercial Property
- Renewable Energy
- Wayleave & Compensation Negotiations