Frequently Asked Questions

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Why Creating Tomorrow’s Forests?

We launched Creating Tomorrow's Forests to make it easy for you to reduce your impact on the planet and help us replace the lost forests of the UK. We started out planting over eight million trees on large-scale sites for the forestry commission, private landowners and government, and then in 2020, we decided to start reforestation and biodiversity projects in partnership with businesses and individuals. We currently only plant trees and work on projects in the UK because we believe our members should be able to see for themselves the beneficial impact that they are having. With the climate and biodiversity crisis threatening our beautiful planet, it has never been more important to maintain our native ecosystems.

When working on afforestation projects, we don't just plant trees, our mission is to create diverse woodland habitats. To do this, we look to science to guide the way and use the latest research to help us ensure the highest possible benefits for biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

We also know which species of trees and plants are best suited to different habitats and areas of the UK. Each site that we create is expertly designed in-house to make sure that the habitat thrives, becoming a home for wildlife, and a beautiful space for nature and people.

How will this benefit my business?

Sustainability is becoming a top priority for consumers, with many choosing between companies based on their climate and environmental footprints. Many businesses are aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals and the principles of the circular economy, leading the world in adopting sustainable and ethical practices and driving the race to net-zero. Sustainability drives growth and profits as well as ensuring that we are nurturing the finite resources of our beautiful planet.

By partnering with Creating Tomorrow’s Forests you can demonstrate your green credentials and be assured that you are investing in ecologically sound habitat creation projects. One of our key values is increasing engagement with the natural world, and we are committed to providing updates on our projects and associated educational material to enable you to join us on our habitat restoration journey. We can design tailor made solutions that will integrate biodiversity and tree planting into your business model, driving sales, rewarding employees, and incentivising consumer responses.

What is afforestation?

Afforestation is creating new forest in an area that previously had no tree cover. New forests absorb carbon more quickly than established forests, so planting new forests is an essential part of tackling climate change. Planting entire woodlands with a mix of species is also more effective for carbon capture and biodiversity restoration than planting individual trees, which is why our mission is to create forests rather than monocultures.

The UK has the lowest level of woodland cover in Europe at just 13%, so we are committed to creating new forests to capture carbon and to increase biodiversity.

How does planting trees reduce my carbon footprint?

Trees are one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere. Through photosynthesis they absorb carbon through their leaves and store it to fuel growth. It is estimated that new forests could store up to 25% of the current atmospheric carbon, which represents a huge contribution to tackling climate change.

Every single tree counts in the fight against climate change, but planting forests will reduce carbon levels even more quickly. Managing the long-term health of forests will ensure that trees continue to sequester carbon and keep it locked away. It is very difficult to measure how much carbon one person produces and how much an individual tree stores, but we know that young, densely planted forests grow ten times faster.

This means that the Creating Tomorrow's Forests woodlands will absorb carbon quickly and site ownership and sensitive management will ensure that the carbon is stored in the long term. Creating forests also has additional benefits in terms of increasing biodiversity, reducing local temperatures, and reducing flooding, so investing in one of our forests will benefit the planet and our local environment in many ways.

Which tree and plant species do you use?

After reviewing the characteristics and history of a site, we plant native tree and plant species tailored to the local ecology, paying close attention to regional tree varieties. Our aim is to create thriving ecosystems that restore local habitat and allow wildlife species that may have been lost to move back in.

We commonly use English oak (Quercus robur) as a cornerstone and then a mixture of willows, birches, alders and other faster growing species to get the woodland carbon sequestration happening as quickly as possible. We include fruit and nectar bearing species wherever possible to provide food for pollinators. Any plant species that we use in meadows or woodland understorey planting are carefully considered to ensure that we use species that are suited to the site and that will increase habitat quality for wildlife. Our planting methods vary depending on the site and we use saplings of different sizes varying from whips (60cm) to standards (3m) to establish a multistorey canopy from the beginning of the project, enabling the site to kickstart itself and make it more inviting for wildlife. 

We also create additional habitat such as ponds, wildflower meadows, amphibian hibernacula and insect refuges. Our forests not only capture carbon effectively but also create valuable habitat for wildlife and a lasting legacy in this country that you can visit.

Why do you only plant in the UK?

The UK has an international commitment to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030, and planting forests in the UK directly contributes to this. Restoring native woodland also contributes to preserving biodiversity here in the UK and creates habitats in which our wildlife can thrive. The UK has one of the highest levels of biodiversity loss in the UK, and with new government commitments to protect more wild spaces, it is vital that we restore our lost habitats. Most other projects plant non-native species in tropical countries that are unlikely to create functioning forest ecosystems.

By not relying on third-party planters and planting close to home, we can be more efficient, have a higher percentage of trees that grow to full maturity and cultivate our sites through the years. This means that more carbon is taken from the atmosphere in the long term, and local air quality can improve. Another benefit of creating our sites in the UK is that we can offer guided visits to our customers, showing the tangible results of their investment and the translation of their funding into increasing biodiversity.

Who plants your trees?

We plant all of your trees ourselves. From the site design to the trees going into the ground, nothing is ever outsourced to third-party contractors. We strictly control the design and quality of the planting, meaning that more trees survive over time, growing into full maturity and creating a diverse, living woodland.

What is biodiversity offsetting?

Biodiversity offsetting is creating or restoring habitat to mitigate for habitat lost elsewhere through development projects, or unavoidable habitat loss due to resource use. Businesses are now examining their broader environmental footprint and impact on nature, and offsetting allows them to compensate for their nature footprint. Similarly to reaching net-zero, the drive will be to reduce this environmental footprint before offsetting any unavoidable residual impact.

For the construction industry, projects must now demonstrate a 10% biodiversity net gain, following the introduction of the UK Environment Bill, which was passed into law in late 2021. This is not always possible on the construction site itself, so a framework is being put in place to allow for increasing biodiversity on another site, which will offset the biodiversity reduction. Creating Tomorrow’s Forests are experts in restoring habitats and can offer professional biodiversity offsetting services and advice for construction projects required to demonstrate a biodiversity net gain.

How do you guarantee the long-term future of your sites?

Our mission is to create thriving ecosystems to sequester carbon and increase biodiversity for the long term. We aim to help businesses and individuals to give back to nature, and as forestry professionals and ecologists ourselves, we are passionately committed to ensuring that our forests continue to develop for hundreds of years.

One of the reasons that we can make this commitment is because we purchase our own land. This means that we have total control over what and how we plant and manage the site. There will not be conflicting interests from other stakeholders, these sites are planted and managed primarily for nature. We will assure the longevity of our forests by applying a conservation covenant so that if the land ever changes hands decades down the line, the restored habitat will remain, with a commitment to maintain its condition. Conservation covenants form part of the Environment Bill and we will be able to apply restrictive and positive covenants to land so that it is managed by conservation organisations in the future, even if the freehold for the land changes hands. When working with project partners we check that there are long-term management plans in place to ensure the longevity of the site.

How do you measure and monitor biodiversity?

Measuring biodiversity is difficult due to the number of species on a site and the complexity of accounting for abundance. We use established techniques on our sites to assess biodiversity increases and monitor how our restored habitats are developing. Firstly, we do a baseline survey to ascertain which species are present, and to look for any nearby designated areas that could provide a source for rare species to move across onto our site. Once the site has been planted, making sure that we consider the requirements for any priority rare habitats or species in the area, we conduct regular surveys to monitor for new species using the site. We look in particular at plants, birds, bees, butterflies, bats, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, dragonflies, and any other notable local species.

Another method that we use to assess biodiversity gain is the DEFRA biodiversity metric, which has been developed as part of the Environment Bill regulations. The metric uses habitat classifications to calculate the likely biodiversity gain associated with changing from one habitat type to another. This is then backed up by on-the-ground surveys to check that the biodiversity gain matches the estimates.

How can you prove my impact?

When you invest in Creating Tomorrow's Forests, we select marginal and poor sites across the UK to create forests and restore rare habitats. We use the latest research and detailed site characteristics to create planting plans. We use planting methods that ensure maximum biodiversity and carbon storage potential, high-quality local tree species, and long-term management methods to ensure that the habitats you create survive and thrive.

Before planting we conduct baseline surveys to look at the existing site biodiversity and then we repeat these surveys at regular intervals and share the results with you so that you can see wildlife flourishing in the restored habitat.

We also supply our members with GPS coordinates linking them to the trees they have planted or the location of the biodiversity site. We keep you updated on the progress of the sites that you fund with regular updates and news including wildlife sightings.

Is Creating Tomorrow’s Forests a charity?

At Creating Tomorrow's Forests it is our mission to fight climate change and the biodiversity crisis by creating complete ecosystem habitats. In order to maximise our chances for success and get us closer to our goal of planting millions more trees, we decided to operate as a private limited company. Here are some of the key reasons why we made this decision:

‣ In order to really grow Creating Tomorrow's Forests’ impact, we need to be open to potential capital investment.

‣ To reach our goal, and fight the climate and biodiversity emergencies we need to be agile and able to scale quickly. That means being open to investments and having a highly talented and quality team on board.

‣ We want to prove that green initiatives such as ours are viable business options.

‣ We want to build a long-term sustainable revenue structure that stands the test of time. Our mission to replace the lost biodiversity of the UK requires our organisation to stand the test of time.

Still have questions?

For all general enquiries, please contact us at:
Phone: 01258 441145

Creating Tomorrow's Forests