Forestry Statistics 2012 - Sources

Sources: Woodland area and planting

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New planting & restocking


New planting is the creation of new areas of woodland. Restocking is the replanting of areas of woodland that have been felled. New planting can use planting/seeding or natural colonisation. Restocking can also use planting/seeding or natural regeneration.

Data sources and methodology

Information about Forestry Commission and Forest Service new planting and restocking comes from administrative systems. Information about other woodland has come principally from grant schemes, including the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS), Glastir in Wales, Better Woodlands for Wales (BWW), Rural Development Contracts in Scotland, Scottish Forestry Grant Scheme (SFGS) and Woodland Grant Scheme (WGS).

Areas receiving grant are allocated to years by date of payment. For natural colonisation and regeneration, the areas are generally those for which the second instalment of grant has been paid during the year. The second instalment is approved when woodland reaches a certain stage and density of growth, so this information corresponds approximately to the amount of new and restocked woodland created.

The coverage and level of grant support may differ across schemes, so that figures on grant-aided planting are not directly comparable between countries or over time. Changes to grant support for restocking of conifers has changed with the introduction of Rural Development Contracts in Scotland in 2008. As a result, grant aid is no longer available for restocking with Sitka spruce in many cases. This is likely to have led to a reduction in areas of grant-aided restocking.

Further information on current and closed grant schemes in Great Britain is available at

Local estimates for areas of planting and restocking which are not FC and which are not grant-aided are included for England, Wales and Scotland, where possible, but no estimates have been included for restocking of Sitka spruce in Scotland that is no longer supported by grants. Estimates of non-grant-aided planting and restocking are relatively small (less than one thousand hectares annually), and it has been assumed that all of this area is broadleaves. It is assumed that there is no non-FS non-grant aided new planting and restocking in Northern Ireland.

The use of natural regeneration in non-clearfell systems is increasing substantially - particularly for broadleaves in England. These systems are not satisfactorily represented by measuring restocking area within any given year, and so broadleaf planting is likely to be under-reported in this release and other statistics.

Figures for Northern Ireland (Forest Service and non-Forest Service woodland) are provided by the Forest Service (

Further information on administrative sources can be found at:


Figures for 2011-12 are final; provisional figures were previously released in "Woodland Area, Planting and Restocking: 2012 Edition".

Revisions to the 2011-12 figures have been made to take account of revised planting data for the Forest Service. This has resulted in a decrease of around 0.5 thousand hectares (48%) in the level of restocking in Northern Ireland from the figure previously released.

Figures for earlier years have not been revised from those provided in "Woodland Area, Planting and Restocking: 2012 Edition". Information on revisions made since "Forestry Statistics 2011" are provided in "Woodland Area, Planting and Restocking: 2012 Edition".

Information on significant revisions to published statistics is provided in the quality report on Woodland Area, Planting and Restocking, available from our Quality web page at

The Forestry Commission's revisions policy sets out how revisions and errors are dealt with and can be found at$FILE/FCrevisions.pdf

Further information

Accompanying tables to this release, available at, provide longer time series data by country for new planting and restocking.
Figures for new planting are also used to compile the UK’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector, submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, A summary factsheet is produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), available at
Release schedule

Provisional figures for new planting and restocking in 2012-13 will be published on 13 June 2013 in "Woodland Area, Planting and Restocking: 2013 Edition".

Final results for new planting and restocking in 2012-13 will be published on 26 September 2013 in "Forestry Statistics 2013" and "Forestry Facts & Figures 2013".

Links to Forestry Statistics 2012