A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND business has been launched to guide organisations through the carbon-offsetting journey, from identifying sites to growing trees and navigating the rapidly emerging carbon-neutrality market.

Akre, the brainchild of managing director Renwick Drysdale, builds on his forestry heritage and is an evolution of the woodland creation consultancy Kilrie Trees.

Created following a £2 million private funding package, Akre encompasses the world’s first verified carbon-negative tree nursery, with a natural capital consultancy and exchange.

Its team of six dedicated staff work alongside one of the UK’s most experienced horticulture consultants, Rodney Shearer.

It is seeking to tap into surging demand for carbon-offsetting and habitat restoration, with Scotland’s vast peatland and tracts of poor quality agricultural land putting the country at the epicentre of rewilding and carbon-sequestration.

Drysdale recently helped to advise the high-profile acquisition of 1500 hectares of the Cairngorm National Park by the abrdn investment company.

A majority of the 1.5m broadleaf trees will be grown at the Akre tree nursery located near Kirkcaldy, which was designed in consultation with world-leading experts in horticulture and tree production.

It is the world’s first verified carbon-negative tree nursery and uses an innovative combination of environmental controls to optimise quality and improve the efficiency of production. The nursery has been designed with the principles of circular economy at its core. Running on a solar power and battery system as well as a rainwater collection system, the nursery is self-sufficient and exports green energy.

Drysdale said: “Our mission is to help businesses help the planet – and to help transform our clients’ relationship with nature from extractive to restorative.

“We design bespoke nature-based strategies, delivering and managing ecological restoration plans for businesses, funds, communities and private investors.

“What this means is that we are a single contact solution for firms looking to offset emissions to have a positive impact on the environment we all rely on. We exist to help landowners and businesses alike justify and implement restoration work while meeting net-zero targets.

“We can grow and plant the trees before assisting clients with the process of registering carbon credits while reporting on the co-benefits of planting to habitat, flood risk mitigation and amenity.”

Drysdale’s team consists of experts in forestry, woodland creation and horticulture with more than 100 years of combined experience.

He added: “The business has grown out of a sheer demand from people who want to make the most of their environmental potential.

“Whether it be through forestry, restoration, tree planting or natural capital trading, there is a host of ways businesses small or large can work towards a greener world – and Akre is very excited to play a big part in that.”