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Forestry Statistics 2017 - 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 2016, the questionnaire was issued to 40 harvesting companies, of which 26 responded, giving a response rate of 65%. 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, 2007-2016

Year

Forms issued Responses received Response rate1 Weighted response rate2

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%

2016

40

26

65%

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 2016 are final; provisional figures were previously released in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2016 provisional figures".

Since the publication of "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2016 provisional figures", private sector softwood production has been revised upward for 2012 to 2014 by up to 97 thousand green tonnes and downward for 2015 and 2016 by up to 60 thousand green tonnes.

Information on other revisions made since "Forestry Statistics 2016" are provided in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2016 provisional figures".

Release schedule

Provisional figures for 2017 will be released on 17 May 2018 in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2017 provisional figures".

Final figures for 2017 will be released on 27 September 2018 in "Forestry Statistics 2018" and "Forestry Facts & Figures 2018".

Links to Forestry Statistics 2017