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2016 – Environment


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.

All of the statistics presented in this chapter have been previously released.

The statistics on the populations of wild birds (Table 5.1 and Figure 5.1) and on woodland fires (Tables 5.2a and 5.2b) have been revised since “Forestry Statistics 2015”. 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.

Key findings

The main findings are:

  • 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.
  • 75% of the UK public agrees with the statement “action should be taken by authorities and woodland managers to protect trees from damaging pests and diseases”.
  • There were around 3,300 woodland fires in 2014-15, burning around 900 hectares of woodland.
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