A GROUP of well-known forestry specialists have launched a new business, the Goldcrest Land and Forestry Group.

Surveyors Jon Lambert, Fenning Welstead and Jock Galbraith, who previously worked for John Clegg and Co, have formed the new partnership with a view to operating throughout the UK, from a base in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square.

Goldcrest’s services include buying and selling forestry and land on behalf of clients, valuations, asset management and strategic advice on rural estates and businesses.

The three chartered rural practice surveyors and chartered foresters were with John Clegg and Co for a combined total of more than 70 years. Mr Lambert said: ‘‘I am delighted to be part of this new partnership. We have the resources, expertise and experience to provide a premium service to the rural sector.

"We have an unrivalled knowledge of the forestry market and as a team we have an excellent reputation, having been responsible for brokering the majority of commercial forestry transactions in the UK over the last two to three decades. We are looking forward to leaning on our unparalleled experience as we build our new business.”

He continued: “The forestry market remains a buoyant growth sector, underpinned by significant interest from corporate firms keen to earn carbon credits as a way of ensuring compliance with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria. Additionally, the importance placed on natural capital is increasingly realised both in the valuation of forestry assets and through the rural support and grants offered by devolved governments in the UK as we leave the EU.

“The forestry sector has been relatively unscathed by Covid-19 with very considerable capital appreciation of woodlands, forests and planting land in the last year. Some properties have increased at an astonishing rate – in excess of 30% in the last twelve months," noted Mr Lambert.

"Demand remains sustained for this bespoke investment asset class. I believe this interest will only intensify during the next 12-18 months and that we are likely to see further yield compression as a result. It is an exciting time to be setting up a new business in the sector.”

Goldcrest LFG is named after the smallest bird in the UK. Just nine centimetres in length, the goldcrest has a fiery stripe on its head and favours spruce, fir and pine forests. It has a busy, tenacious and inquisitive nature – attributes which would, said Mr Lambert, be echoed by the new business.