Forestry Statistics 2012 - Sources

Sources: Timber

previous | next  

Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey

Introduction

The Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey is an annual survey conducted by the Forestry Commission (in association with the Forest Service) of a sample of harvesting companies in the UK.

The survey, which previously covered harvesting companies in Great Britain only, was extended in 2004 to include harvesting companies in Northern Ireland. Figures for Northern Ireland in earlier years have therefore been estimated, based on responses to the 2004 survey.

Figures are published as UK totals and by country (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland).

Data collected

The questionnaire (www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/Remqgb11.pdf/$FILE/Remqgb11.pdf) used for the Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey is issued annually to around 30-40 harvesting companies, to collect information on:

  • the quantity of softwood roundwood harvested from non-FC/FS woodlands in the UK in the current (latest) year and in the previous year;
  • the quantity of softwood roundwood harvested from certified non-FC/FS woodlands and
  • (from the 2008 survey) the quantity sold to bioenergy (including wood pellet manufacture).

Response rates

In 2011, the questionnaire was issued to 32 harvesting companies, of which 21 responded, giving a response rate of 66%. These respondents are estimated to account for around 96% of all the softwood harvested by companies covered by the survey.

Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey Response Rates, 2002-2011

Year

Forms issued

Responses received

Response rate

2002

35 24 69%

2003

33 24 73%

2004

41 33 80%

2005

40 28 70%

2006

43 35 81%

2007

43 34 79%

2008

41 35 85%

2009 

40 30 75%

2010

40 30 75%

2011 

32 21 66%


Methodology

A review of the methodology used to estimate total private sector softwood removals (including businesses not covered by the survey) was undertaken in 2011-2012.

The "Methodology Review of Softwood Removals from Non-FC/FS Woodland" paper presents the results from this review and the implications of the change in methodology. It can be found at: www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/rem_methodology_rev2011-12.pdf/$FILE/rem_methodology_rev2011-12.pdf

In the new methodology, businesses not covered by the survey are assumed to represent 15% of the total softwood removals from non-FC/FS woodland. This fixed percentage is applied from 2006 onwards. The previous methodology is used for 2001 and earlier years, and a smooth transition is applied to the years 2002 to 2005 inclusive. 

Quality

Detailed information on the survey quality is available in the "Quality Report: Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey" at www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/qrremovsur.pdf/$FILE/qrremovsur.pdf

Further quality information on FC Official Statistics is available at: www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-7zhk85

Revisions

Results from the Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey may be revised between the provisional figures published in the First Release "UK Wood Production and Trade: provisional figures" and the final data published in Forestry Facts and Figures and Forestry Statistics to take account of late returns and the results of additional data quality checking procedures.

In order to use the most accurate information possible in estimating total non-FC/FS softwood removals, figures for non respondents in earlier years are estimated wherever possible, using their responses in previous and in subsequent years. This may cause the estimates for all previous years to be revised when new data are received from a former non-respondent. This process reduces the potential over-inflation of estimated removals which can be caused by harvesting companies tending to respond when removals have increased but being less likely to do so when their removals have reduced.

Figures for 2011 are final; provisional figures were previously released in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2011 provisional figures".

Figures for 2011 and earlier years have not been revised from those in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2011 provisional figures". Information on revisions made since "Forestry Statistics 2011" are provided in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2011 provisional figures".

Release schedule

Provisional figures for 2012 will be released on 16 May 2013 in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2012 provisional figures".

Final figures for 2012 will be released on 26 September 2013 in "Forestry Statistics 2013" and "Forestry Facts & Figures 2013".

Links to Forestry Statistics 2012