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Tustins Quarterly Marketing Update July 2020

This quarter has seen the world turn upside down with massive changes to the way that we socialise and work but the joy of running a bespoke business has meant that we have been able to quickly adapt to lockdown as it has tightened and eased.

Since the beginning of April, we have seen strong growth in the large commercial woodland sector (£1m+) and this has had a positive, domino effect through all of the small number of properties that we have been marketing and acquiring for our clients.  This is good news for the forestry sector and the UK economy as a whole, with investors looking to diversify their portfolios and the timber industry now picking up again as the effects of the initial lockdown begin to fade.  Of particular interest is that crops containing improved Sitka spruce are performing particularly well where off the chart physical growth rates are now matched by their financial performance.

With the continued positive steps in infection control and improved mobility across the UK, we have seen amenity woodlands also being snapped up quickly, as green spaces are being appreciated more now than perhaps ever before.

Traveling to Scotland and Wales has not been without challenge given some of the restrictions early in lockdown but the respective devolved governments have consistently supported professional travel and this has allowed us to visit properties, taking adequate precautions.  The lifting of the five mile rule in Wales last week is great news for those looking to market smaller woodlands or mixed estates.

With markets for existing woodland becoming a little frenzied there is bound to be an overflow onto land that is suitable for planting with commercial woodland.  As a result we are expecting to see a corresponding increase in interest for plantable farmland.  I am sure that there will be some enterprising owners who discover that they can make an early return from obtaining permission on land and then selling it before the ink is dry on the grant scheme and planting permission paperwork.  De-risked new planting schemes of size will be the next serious commodity in the forestry world.

The changes this quarter overall have been really positive and as always, we are here to help advise you on woodland and forestry matters.  Look out for our next update in September.