New roots for Velcourt with forestry firm acquisition

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Farm management and advisory business, Velcourt Group Ltd, has acquired leading timber and forestry management firm Bronwin & Abbey Ltd. This development further extends the scope of Velcourt’s services to include specialist forestry management complementing its agricultural and environmental businesses.

Velcourt’s executive chairman, James Townshend, said Bronwin & Abbey is an excellent fit for the Velcourt business with the increasingly important part that forestry is set to play within the UK’s rural land base:

“Many farms and estates are looking to forestry to deliver on the biodiversity and natural capital agendas with an eye on the opportunities from sequestering carbon in addition to supplying the UK’s timber markets. Opportunities exist to realise the potential of established woodland in addition to plant new land areas which hitherto have been marginal farming land.

Govt agenda for agriculture

“The UK Government has set out its aspirations for tree planting alongside its agenda for UK agriculture: inevitably this will result in considerable change and will necessitate experienced and technically proficient leadership within the sector. Velcourt has a strong reputation of innovation and delivery in the farming sector as do the Bronwin & Abbey team in the forestry world. Against this backdrop it’s an incredibly exciting time for both our own and the Bronwin & Abbey team to work together to deliver for farmers, forest and landowners.”

Bronwin & Abbey has worked with landowners in Wales and the Marches for over 26 years, offering woodland management and creation to maximise profitability, and in recent years more specific projects designed around carbon capture and trading. Timber Harvesting director, Robert South, who will continue to lead the business with the firm’s managing director Andrew Bronwin, said:

“Interest in forestry has been on an upwards trajectory, both as a capital asset and for the value of timber, but as policy evolves around the sustainability agenda, land management is increasingly about forestry and farming working together and complementing each other for the best outcome, financially and environmentally. It is not, and should not be, farm vs woodland. Forestry, existing and new, needs joined up professional management, and there is great potential to support many of the farming businesses Velcourt manages, and advises for, to maximise on this.

Maximise full value of clients woodlands

“Velcourt is very much built on independence, quality service and people, values that we also hold strongly at Bronwin & Abbey. We are looking forward to supporting clients together to manage forestry profitably, inset as well as offset their emissions and, as natural capital comes to the fore, to effectively maximise the full value of our clients’ woodland assets.

“Little will change for our existing forestry clients, but it will allow Bronwin & Abbey to scale the business and continue to offer our services at a competitive price.”

Bronwin & Abbey, which works independently of any sawmills and timber merchants, has a proven track record in maximising returns from timber sales and grants as well as a good knowledge of the newly developing carbon and natural capital markets. Mr South also sits on the Woodland Carbon Advisory Board.

Mr Townshend and David Teague, Velcourt’s financial director, will join the board of Bronwin & Abbey from July 2022.

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