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Forestry Statistics 2013 - Woodland Areas and Planting

Certified woodland area

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Certified woodland in the UK has been independently audited against the UK Woodland Assurance Standard. Forestry certification schemes are owned by international non-governmental organisations and exist to promote good forest practice. They offer product labels to demonstrate that wood or wood products come from well-managed forests.

Figures for certified woodland areas are often used as an indicator of sustainable forest management. However, it should be noted that woodland that is not certified may also be managed sustainably.

Most changes to the certified woodland area figures over time are a result of new areas being certified or certificates not being renewed upon expiry. Temporary changes can also occur if there is a time lag between expiry and renewal. 

1.4 million hectares of woodland in the UK were certified in March 2013 (Table 1.4). This represented 44% of the total UK woodland area, 27% in England, 46% in Wales, 57% in Scotland and 58% in Northern Ireland.

Table 1.4 Woodland area certified1,2, March 2013

Ownership

England

  Wales

Scotland

Northern
Ireland

      UK

thousand hectares

Forestry Commission/
Forest Service3

214

117

480

62

873

Non-FC/FS

140

22

323

3

489

Total woodland area certified

355

139

803

65

1 362

Source: Forest Stewardship Council, Forestry Commission, Forest Service.

Notes:

1.  All certified woodland in 2013 is certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) scheme.  Some of these woodlands are also certified under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) scheme.

2.  The estimates are based on UK data published by FSC, supplemented by data from individual certificates and other sources.  Where possible, figures are for the woodland area certified, rather than the land area certified.

3.  All Forestry Commission/Forest Service woodland is certified. The Forestry Commission/Forest Service areas are the latest areas, as shown in Table 1.1, rather than the areas shown on the certificates.

Data: Longer time series of the above table are available from the Woodland Statistics web page.


Figure 1.2 presents certified woodland area by country since December 2001, with figures for earlier years revised for consistency with results from the National Forest Inventory. This shows an increase in certified woodland area of around 300 thousand hectares (28%) since December 2001.

Figure 1.2  Area of certified woodland, 2001-2013

Figure 1.2 Area of certified woodland, 2001-2013

Source: Forest Stewardship Council, Forestry Commission, Forest Service.

Figures showing volumes of certified timber and Chain of Custody certificates are provided in tables 2.28 and 2.29.

 

Links to Forestry Statistics 2013