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Forestry Statistics 2014 - Woodland Areas and Planting

New planting and restocking

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Figure 1.6 shows areas of new planting by country since the year ending March 1976. UK new planting rates have fallen from the late 1980’s, decreasing by 82% between 1988-89 and 2009-10. This followed changes to the tax benefits from owning forestry in the UK, introduced in the 1988 Finance Act (www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/39/contents). However, the area of new planting in the UK has more than doubled since 2009-10, largely driven by increases in Scotland following the introduction of Rural Development Contracts. For further information, see the New Planting and Restocking section of the Sources chapter.

Figure 1.6 New planting in the UK, 1976-2014

Figure 1.6 New planting in the UK, 1976-2013

Source: Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales, Forest Service, grant schemes.

Notes:

1.  Private sector figures are based on areas for which grants were paid during the year. Estimate of areas planted without grant aid are also included (where possible), although non grant aided planting may be under-represented in the figures. Figures for grant-aided planting under Rural Development Contracts in Scotland relate to calendar years.

2.  The planting season lies both sides of 31 March, and the weather can cause planting to be advanced or delayed.

3.  Includes natural colonisation.

 

Figure 1.7 shows areas of restocking by country since the year ending March 1976. It indicates an increase in restocking rates over most of the period. Over the same period, there has been a general increase in UK wood production (see UK-Grown Timber chapter).

The area of restocking fell by around one third between the peak of 19 thousand hectares in 2006-07 and 2011-12. There has since been some recovery, with the area of restocking increasing by 29% between 2011-12 and 2013-14.

The decline in restocking levels from 2006-07 follows changes to grant support for restocking in Scotland, that may have resulted in some non-grant aided Sitka spruce restocking being excluded from the estimates. Reliable estimates of the amount of Sitka spruce restocking undertaken without grant aid in Scotland are not available. However, results from the Forestry Commission's Nursery Survey (an annual survey of forest nurseries in Great Britain) indicate that, despite a dip in the 2009/10 planting year, sales of Sitka spruce plants to Scotland have been relatively stable in recent years. For further information, see the New Planting and Restocking section of the Sources chapter.

Figure 1.7 Restocking in the UK, 1976-2014 

Figure 1.7 Restocking in the UK, 1976-2013

Source: Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales, Forest Service, grant schemes.

Notes:

1.  Private sector figures are based on areas for which grants were paid during the year.  Estimate of areas planted without grant aid are also included (where possible), although non grant aided planting may be under-represented in the figures. Figures for grant-aided planting under Rural Development Contracts in Scotland relate to calendar years.

2.  The planting season lies both sides of 31 March, and the weather can cause planting to be advanced or delayed.

3.  Includes natural regeneration.

Links to Forestry Statistics 2014