Forestry Statistics 2012


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This chapter presents a range of information about the woodland environment, mostly using sources that are outside the scope of National Statistics. They are included to provide additional context to the topic.

Estimates for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are included, where possible, in addition to UK or GB totals. Further information on the data sources and methodology used to compile the figures is provided in the Sources chapter.

Most of the statistics presented in this chapter have been previously released. The statistics on the populations of wild birds (Table 5.3 and Figure 5.1) have been revised since "Forestry Statistics 2011". For further details on revisions, see the Environment section of the Sources chapter.

A copy of all environment tables is available to download as an Excel spreadsheet from the Tables for Download page.

Further information on environmental aspects is included in the UK Indicators of Sustainable Forestry, published in October 2002 with web updates, and available at

Key findings

The main findings are:

  • There are estimated to be around 0.6 million hectares of ancient woodland and 0.6 million hectares of semi-natural woodland.
  • Around 0.1 million hectares of woodland are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (or Areas of Special Scientific Interest) in the UK.
  • Since the early 1990s, the UK woodland bird index has generally been about 20 per cent below the level of the early 1970s, with the decline predominantly in woodland specialist species.

Links to Forestry Statistics 2012