Forestry values increase by more than 15% in 2022

Average commercial forestry values reached £11,372 a stocked acre in the 12 months ending 30 September 2022.

This is an increase in value of about 15% in terms of like-for-like sales, according to timber specialist Tilhill.

Values were driven up by reduced availability, at 16,800 acres stocked, down 33% on the previous year and the smallest area traded since 2008.

See also: Strong woodland market providing hedge against inflation

The total value of the UK forestry market was more than £200m, when including off-market transactions, according to the UK Forest Market Report 2022.

The report was produced by Tilhill and Goldcrest Land & Forestry Group and showed that large, high-yield forestry in good locations attracted the highest prices.

Xander Mahony, head of forestry investment at Tilhill said: “Commercial forestry values continue to be driven by increasing demand from institutional investors facing constrained supply.

“This year, in particular, has seen supply at the bottom end of the historical range.”

Fenning Welstead, partner at Goldcrest said: “A future with much greater emphasis on renewable energy and raw materials will surely have to rely more on trees.

“Whatever the vicissitudes along the way, the future of human activity will need more timber. We must keep planting”

Market segments

The market for planting land increased by 23% year on year, valued at £65m from observed transactions totalling 9,900 acres. However, the bulk of land deals are reportedly off market.

Total UK plantings were up by 4% on the year at 34,200 acres, with plantings of broadleaves outweighing conifers for the first time in five years.

The mixed woodland market increased to £19.4m traded, up from £10.7m during the previous year.

Natural capital

Tilhill’s report contained a new natural capital segment for land that is neither croppable nor suitable for commercial timber.

The total value of natural capital land on the market in the UK listed for sale increased from £26.4m in 2021 to £80.7m in 2022.

Natural capital market, listings by country:

  • England: 6,100 acres valued at £32.4m (£5,300/acre)
  • Wales: 5,200 acres valued at £28.9m (£5,500/acre)
  • Scotland 5,700 acres valued at £19.5m (£3,400/acre)


Savills’ autumn 2022 Commercial Forestry report showed values increasing, but at a much slower rate than in 2021.

The average value of commercial forestry rose by 7.5% for the year ending 30 September 2022, compared with 60% in 2021, said the report, with average woodland in the UK valued at £10,700/acre.

Regional variation is a factor, with values in England and Wales falling by 4% to £11,200/acre, while growth was seen in all Scottish regions.

The largest gains were made in the north of Scotland, where values rose 51% to £6,644/acre, however it remains at a notable discount to forestry in southern regions.

Premiums were available for quality larger commercial woodland with strong interest from investors.

Larger woodlands of more than 617 acres increased in value by 32% during the year, while woodlands of between 123 acres and 247 acres reduced in value by 26%.

Smaller commercial forests have been slower to sell and achieved lower prices during 2022, as they are not typically purchased by institutional investors other than where there is a specific investment reason, according to the report.

James Adamson, head of forestry investment at Savills said: “Last year competition in the market, driven by strong timber prices and an increased sense of urgency surrounding the environmental agenda, led to some investors acting bullishly, buoyed by a strong sense of optimism over future performance.

“Interest in the sector has changed this year, with multiple factors at play, including the global outlook, which has tempered sentiment, order books have been fulfilled and some potential buyers have taken a more cautious approach to investment in the knowledge that current valuations are high,” said Mr Adamson.


The value of forestry next year could stay level or even fall slightly, according to the Savills report, after a period of strong performance.

The firm suggests the forestry market might now be reaching maturity, which could lead to supply and demand constraints becoming the biggest market driver.

“It seems likely that the nature of the forestry market is changing, reaching a price equilibrium more typical of mature commercial markets,” said the report.