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NEWS RELEASE No: 1596813 JUNE 2013

Woodland area statistics published

National Statistics

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Planting Sitka Spruce

The latest National Statistics on Woodland Area, Planting and Restocking produced by the Forestry Commission were released today (13 June 2013) in accordance with the arrangements approved by the United Kingdom Statistics Authority.

The First Release contains provisional statistics for the year to March 2013 on UK woodland area, certified woodland area, and areas of new planting and restocking.
The main findings are:

  • the area of woodland in the UK at 31 March 2013 was 3.13 million hectares. This represents 13 per cent of the total land area in the UK, 10 per cent in England, 15 per cent in Wales, 18 per cent in Scotland and 8 per cent in Northern Ireland;
  • of the total UK woodland area, 0.87 million hectares were owned or managed by the Forestry Commission (in Great Britain) or the Forest Service (in Northern Ireland);
  • the total certified woodland area in the UK at 31 March 2013 was 1.36 million hectares, including all Forestry Commission and Forest Service woodland. Overall, 44 per cent of the UK woodland area is certified;
  • 11,000 hectares of new woodland were created in the UK in 2012-13, mostly with broadleaved species; and
  • 13,000 hectares of woodland were restocked (replanted after harvesting) in the UK in 2012-13, mostly with conifers.

The full release is available from the statistics pages of the Forestry Commission website,

Further information is available from Jackie Watson in the Economics & Statistics Unit,, 0131 314 6171.


  1. On 1 April 2013, Forestry Commission Wales and the land it managed were assumed into a new body, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), established by the Welsh Assembly Government. The area of woodland now managed by NRW is 117,000ha, and the area of woodland managed by the Forestry Commission in England and Scotland totals 695,000ha, comprising 214,000ha in England and 480,000ha in Scotland. (Discrepancies are due to rounding.)
  2. Certified woodland is woodland whose management has been verified as sustainable and environmentally sound by an independent auditor as an assurance to buyers of forest products that the products come from well managed forests. Two main certification standards are used in the UK: the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) standard. Producers whose forests are certified against the UKWAS are entitled to use the logo of the international, independent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) on their products. The Forestry Commission was the first state forest service in the world to achieve certification of its entire forest area.
  3. The next woodland area, planting and restocking statistics updates due to be published by the Forestry Commission are:
    26 September 2013 - final results for the year to March 2013 (see Forestry Facts & Figures 2013 and Forestry Statistics 2013); and
    12 June 2014 - provisional results for the year to March 2014.

MEDIA CONTACT: Charlton Clark, 0131 314 6500