OVER 13,000 hectares of new woodland was created in the UK in 2019–20, according to the latest statistics from the Forestry Commission.

The Forestry Statistics 2020 document states that 13.7 thousand ha of new woodland were created in 2019–20, with conifers accounting for 57 per cent of this area. The current level of new planting is similar to that reported in 2010–19, with an increase of 0.8 per cent – the smallest increase recorded since levels rose sharply after the 2015–16 season.

The document also states that the current woodland area in the United Kingdom is estimated to be 3.2 million ha; 1.39 million ha (43 per cent) of which are independently certified as sustainably managed. Of this UK total, 1.5 million ha (46 per cent) is in Scotland, 1.3 million ha (41 per cent) is in England, 0.3 million ha (10 per cent) is in Wales and 0.1 million ha (4 per cent) is in Northern Ireland.

Other key finding in the document include that 11.1 million green tonnes of UK roundwood (softwood and hardwood) were delivered to primary wood processors and others in 2019, representing a 3 per cent decrease from the previous year; wood products imported into the UK in 2019 were valued at £8.3 billion; the Annual Business Survey reported average employment in 2018 of 16,000 in forestry, 10,000 in sawmilling and 6,000 in panel mills; and the total area of native woodland in Great Britain is estimated to be around 1.51 million hectares.

To view the Forestry Statistics 2020 document in full, click here.

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