The latest National Statistics on forestry produced by the Forestry Commission were released on 27 September 2018 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
Detailed statistics are published in the web publication Forestry Statistics 2018, with an extract in Forestry Facts & Figures 2018. They include UK statistics on woodland area, planting, timber, trade, climate change, environment, recreation, employment and finance & prices as well as some statistics on international forestry. Where possible, figures are also provided for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The key points from the latest releases are:
- The woodland area in the United Kingdom in 2018 is 3.17 million hectares; 1.38 million hectares (43%) are independently certified as sustainably managed.
- Nine thousand hectares of new woodland were created in the UK in 2017-18.
- 11.2 million green tonnes of UK roundwood (softwood and hardwood) were delivered to primary wood processors and others in 2017, representing a 2% increase from the previous year.
- Wood products imported into the UK in 2017 were valued at £7.8 billion and included 7.9 million cubic metres of sawnwood, 3.4 million cubic metres of wood-based panels, 6.9 million tonnes of wood pellets and 5.6 million tonnes of paper.
- The Annual Business Survey reported average employment in 2016 of 17 thousand in forestry and 27 thousand in primary wood processing.
- Gross Value added (GVA) in primary wood processing (sawmilling, panels and pulp & paper) was £1.52 billion in the UK in 2016. GVA in forestry was £0.59 billion.
- The UK was the second largest net importer (imports less exports) of forest products in 2016, behind China.
Coverage: United Kingdom
Geographical breakdown: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Peter Whitfield, Business Development Director at Tilhill Forestry comments “These stats always make interesting reading and as a forester one’s eye is always drawn to the figures on production and new planting. Interestingly wood production in 2017 remained fairly static and has done so for the past 5 years, whereas new planting is now at 9100 hectares, the greatest area planted for a couple of years. What is really encouraging, from my perspective, is the increase in planting of conifers and the part that Scotland has had to play in achieving these numbers. Remember the UK is second only to China in importing wood and wood products, so the more we can produce and process ourselves, the better.”