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Forestry Statistics 2014 - 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 2014 (Table 1.4). This represented 44% of the total UK woodland area, 27% in England, 46% in Wales, 58% in Scotland and 58% in Northern Ireland.

Table 1.4 Woodland area certified1,2, March 2014

Ownership

England

  Wales

Scotland

Northern
Ireland

      UK

thousand hectares

FC/NRW/FS woodland3

215

117

477

62

870

Private sector woodland

135

24

344

3

506

Total woodland area certified

349

141

822

65

1 377

Source: Forest Stewardship Council, Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales, Forest Service, National Forest Inventory.

Notes:

1.  All certified woodland in 2014 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 FC/NRW/FS woodland is certified. The FC/NRW/FS 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 over 300 thousand hectares (30%) since December 2001.

Figure 1.2  Area of certified woodland, 2001-2014

Figure 1.2 Area of certified woodland, 2001-2013

Source: Forest Stewardship Council, Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales, 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 2014