Valuation of Welsh Forest Resources

Timber Waggon leaving on forest roadSummary

This study estimates the value of five ecosystem goods and services provided by woodlands in Wales: standing timber, timber extraction, carbon sequestration, recreation and air quality improvement. It adopts the natural capital accounting methodology developed by the ONS and DEFRA for UK environmental accounts.

Research objectives

  • Value Welsh forest resources focusing on five ecosystem goods and services: standing timber, timber extraction, carbon sequestration, recreation and air quality improvement.
  • Use the natural capital accounting methodology for experimental UK environmental accounts developed by the ONS and DEFRA and make recommendations for potential refinements for future estimates.

Results so far

  • We estimated the annual aggregate value of the four ecosystem service flows provided by woodlands in Wales (timber extraction, carbon sequestration, recreation and air quality improvement) at just over £600 million (in 2015 prices). Of the 4 services, air quality improvements due to pollution removal is the largest, followed by carbon sequestration, recreation and then timber production.
  • The total asset value of the 4 woodland ecosystem services is estimated to amount to about £18 billion (in 2015 prices). The asset value is computed as the net present value over 50 years.
  • To help relate the estimates for Wales to those for the UK as a whole, it is useful to note that woodlands in Wales represent about 10% of the total area of UK woodlands and that the estimated aggregate values for Wales are roughly in line with the proportion of the UK forest area that forests in Wales represent.
  • The total annual value of the four woodland ecosystem services flows in 2014 for the UK as a whole was estimated by ONS at £6.5 billion at 2015 prices. The corresponding asset value in 2014 was £171.4 billion (2015 prices).
  • The study discusses major sources of uncertainty in some of the estimates and causes of discrepancies between the Welsh and UK figures.

Status

Project started January 2017. Project completed March 2017.

The final report is now available in English (PDF-1302KB) and Welsh(PDF-575KB)

Contact

Gregory Valatin

Funders and partners

Commissioned and funded by Welsh Government.