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Forestry Statistics 2016 - Sources

Sources: Timber

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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 used for the Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey (available at www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-94ujw2) is issued annually to around 40 harvesting companies, to collect information on:

  • the quantity of softwood roundwood harvested from private sector woodlands in the UK in the current (latest) year and in the previous year;
  • the quantity of softwood roundwood harvested from certified private sector woodlands and
  • (from the 2008 survey) the quantity sold to bioenergy (including wood pellet manufacture).
  • (from the 2013 survey) the quantity of softwood roundwood harvested as required by plant health legislation.

Response rates

In 2015, the questionnaire was issued to 40 harvesting companies, of which 27 responded, giving a response rate of 68%. These respondents are estimated to account for around 94% of all the softwood harvested by companies covered by the survey.

Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey Response Rates, 2006-2015

Year

Forms issued Responses received Response rate1 Weighted response rate2

2006

43

35

81%

..

2007

43

34

79%

..

2008

41

35

85%

100%

2009

40

30

75%

92%

2010

40

30

75%

97%

2011

37

26

70%

96%

2012

37

27

73%

95%

2013

40

28

70%

96%

2014

39

30

77%

97%

2015

40

27

68%

94%


Notes:

1. Response rates are calculated as the number of responses received divided by the number of forms issued.

2. Weighted response rates have been calculated from the 2008 survey onwards. They are an estimate of the proportion of the softwood harvested by companies covered by the survey that is accounted for by respondents.

.. Denotes data not available.

 

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 current methodology, businesses not covered by the survey are assumed to represent 15% of the total softwood removals from private sector woodland. This fixed percentage is applied from 2006 onwards.

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 & 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 private sector 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 2015 are final; provisional figures were previously released in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2015 provisional figures".

Since the publication of "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2015 provisional figures", softwood private sector production in 2015 was revised upwards from 6,023 to 6,028 thousand green tonnes.  This resulted in an upward revision to total softwood production in 2015, from 10,769 to 10,774 thousand green tonnes (Table 2.1).

Information on other revisions made since "Forestry Statistics 2015" are provided in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2015 provisional figures".

Release schedule

Provisional figures for 2016 will be released on 18 May 2017 in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2016 provisional figures".

Final figures for 2016 will be released on 28 September 2017 in "Forestry Statistics 2017" and "Forestry Facts & Figures 2017".

Links to Forestry Statistics 2016