Forestry Statistics 2007 - Sources

Woodland area and planting

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Woodland censuses have taken place in Great Britain every 15 years or so.  Most censuses, however, used slightly different definitions of woodland, so some apparent changes in area over time are due to changing definitions. The principal differences for censuses since 1905 are:

  • 1905  Felled areas and scrub were not included.
  • 1924  Undertaken by questionnaire; woods smaller than 2 acres (0.8 hectares) were not included.
  • 1947  Woodlands with an area of less than 5 acres (2 hectares) were not included.
  • 1965  Woodlands with an area of less than 1 acre (0.4 hectares) were not included.
  • 1980  Woodlands with an area of less than 0.25 hectares were not included.
  • 1995-99  Woodlands with an area of 0.1-2 hectares were included on a sample basis; some woodland missing from earlier surveys was included.

Estimates of woodland area prior to 1905 have been obtained from a variety of sources, including:

  • Domesday Survey of England - for information in 1086;
  • Scottish Woodland History (TC Smout ed, 1997) - for estimate for end Middle Ages in Scotland;
  • Roy maps c1750 - for Scotland 17th Century estimate.

National Inventory of Woodland and Trees

In the latest 1995-99 inventory, data are collected for individual sample plots, covering a wide variety of topics, include ownership type, species and age.

Results are published for countries (Great Britain, England, Scotland, Wales) and for more detailed geographical breakdowns (regions and counties)

Further details on the most recent census are available from