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Publication of 2012 forestry statistics

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Young Juniper planted in Ennerdale valley

The latest National Statistics on forestry produced by the Forestry Commission were released today, 27 September 2012, in accordance with the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Detailed statistics are published in the web publication ‘Forestry Statistics 2012’, and an extract of these is published in ‘Forestry Facts & Figures 2012’. They include UK statistics on woodland area, woodland planting, timber, trade, climate change, environment, recreation, employment, finance and prices as well as some statistics on international forestry. Where possible, figures are also provided individually for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The key points from the latest releases are:

  • the woodland area in the United Kingdom in 2012 is 3.1 million hectares;
  • 1.4 million hectares (44 per cent) of woodland are independently certified as sustainably managed;
  • 13,000 hectares of new woodland were created in the UK in 2011-12;
  • 10.3 million green tonnes of UK roundwood (softwood and hardwood) were delivered to primary wood processors and others in 2011, representing a 3 per cent increase from the previous year;
  • wood products imported into the UK in 2011 were valued at £6.8 billion, and included 4.9 million cubic metres of sawnwood, 2.8 million cubic metres of wood-based panels, and 6.9 million tonnes of paper;
  • a total of 58 projects were registered under the Woodland Carbon Code at 30 June 2012, covering an area of 2800 hectares of woodland and projected to sequester 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide;
  • in 2011, 48 per cent of UK woodland was assessed as being accessible to the public, and about two-thirds of the UK population had visited woodland in the past few years;
  • the Annual Business Survey reported average employment in 2010 of 14,000 people in forestry and 29,000 in primary wood processing;
  • the Forestry Commission's net expenditure on public forests totalled £56 million in 2011-12, and a further £134 million were spent by the Commission on other activities, including grants, administration and research; and
  • the UK was the third largest net importer (imports less exports) of forest products in 2010, behind China and Japan.

The publications 'Forestry Statistics 2012' and 'Forestry Facts & Figures 2012' area available to download free of charge from the statistics area of the Forestry Commission website (

Hard copies of Forestry Facts & Figures are available from Forestry Commission Publications, PO Box 785, Stockport SK3 3AT; tel: 0161 495 4845; fax: 0161 495 4840; email:

Notes to Editor:

  1. The Woodland Carbon Code is a voluntary UK standard which ensures that ‘carbon forestry’ projects deliver the carbon benefits they claim for people and organisations who want to invest in tree-planting schemes as a means of mitigating the impact of their carbon emissions. Further information is available at
  2. Forest certification is a means by which forest owners and managers can reassure their customers that their products come from sustainable, well managed forests. The certification standard used in the UK is the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS), which is endorsed by the world’s two leading, international, independent certification bodies, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC).

Media contact: Charlton Clark, 0131 314 6500