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NEWS RELEASE No: 1628712 JUNE 2014

Woodland area and planting statistics published

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The latest National Statistics on Woodland Area, Planting and Restocking produced by the Forestry Commission were released today in accordance with the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

The release contains provisional statistics for the year to 31 March 2014 on UK woodland area, certified woodland area, and areas of new planting and restocking.

The main findings are that:

  • the area of woodland in the UK at 31 March 2014 was 3.14 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 was owned or managed by the Forestry Commission (in England and Scotland), Natural Resources Wales or the Forest Service (in Northern Ireland);
  • the total independently certified woodland area in the UK at 31 March 2014 was 1.38 million hectares, including all Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales and Forest Service woodland. Overall, 44 per cent of the UK’s woodland area is independently certified;
  • 13,000 hectares of new woodland were created in the UK in 2013-14, mostly with broadleaved species; and
  • 16,000 hectares of woodland were restocked in the UK in 2013-14, mostly with conifers.

The full statistics release can be found in the Statistics pages of the Forestry Commission website (

Further information is available from Jackie Watson at; tel: 0300 067 5238.


  1. These statistics will next be updated on 25 September 2014, with final results for the year to March 2014; and on 11 June 2015, with provisional results for the year to March 2015.
  2. The figures shown for Natural Resources Wales in this release relate only to woodland which was previously owned or managed by Forestry Commission Wales. They do not currently include estimates for other Natural Resources Wales woodland which was previously owned or managed by the Countryside Council for Wales or the Environment Agency in Wales. It is intended that figures for all Natural Resources Wales woodland will be published in Forestry Statistics 2014 and in Forestry Facts and Figures 2014.
  3. ‘Restocking’ is replanting of woodland areas after trees have been harvested.
  4. 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.

Media contact: Charlton Clark, 0300 067 5049