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Forestry Statistics 2013

Environment

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Introduction

This chapter presents a range of information about the woodland environment, mostly using sources that are outside the scope of National Statistics. They are included to provide additional context to the topic.

Estimates for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are included, where possible, in addition to UK or GB totals. Further information on the data sources and methodology used to compile the figures is provided in the Sources chapter.

Most of the statistics presented in this chapter have been previously released.

Statistics on public opinion relating to tree health are included for the first time in this release.  These figures were previously released in "Public Opinion of Forestry 2013: UK/England".

The statistics on the populations of wild birds (Table 5.3 and Figure 5.1) have been revised since "Forestry Statistics 2012". For further details on revisions, see the Environment section of the Sources chapter.

A copy of all environment tables is available to download as an Excel spreadsheet from the Tables for Download page.

Key findings

The main findings are:

  • There are estimated to be around 0.6 million hectares of ancient woodland and 0.6 million hectares of semi-natural woodland.
  • Around 0.1 million hectares of woodland are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (or Areas of Special Scientific Interest) in the UK.
  • Since the early 1990s, the UK woodland bird index has generally been about 20 per cent below the level of the early 1970s, with the decline predominantly in woodland specialist species.
  • 80% of the UK public agrees with the statement "action should be taken by authorities and woodland managers to protect trees from damaging pests and diseases".

Links to Forestry Statistics 2013