A land carbon management plan for the Wallington estate

The National Trust seeks to enter the majority of tenanted farms on the Wallington Estate, Northumberland into Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements. The agreements aim to enhance biodiversity, the historic environment, access and landscape features however the impact on soil organic carbon (SOC) and biomass carbon (C) is also of importance. Multiple options may be available to achieve each particular aim with differing impacts on SOC and biomass C. The project identified land management options that achieve each primary objective (enhance biodiversity, the historic environment, access and landscape features) but also maximised C without increasing emissions of other greenhouse gases (GHGs). An inventory of potential C that may be sequestered through introduction of HLS on The Wallington Estate has been undertaken, and the impact on other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions indicated with a qualitative scoring system. The current SOC content of individual tenancies on the Estate, measured by the University of Durham (Bell and Worrall, 2009), has been used as a baseline against which any predicted change in C by implementing those HLS options most suited to each individual tenancy, could be compared. The C sequestration capacity of HLS options draws on previous work for Defra project BD2302. Options with the greatest potential were subject to further analysis to calculate their impact after a period of 20 years. A programme of future site monitoring has been devised to ascertain the effectiveness of selected options relative to the predicted calculations. A preliminary ‘blueprint’ produced step-by-step guidance to allow the selection of relevant HLS options on other National Trust estates.


Dr Doug Warner


University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire, 2017.