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Data sources and methodology

Statistics on employment are obtained from:

Statistics for accidents to employees are obtained from Health & Safety Executive statistics for Great Britain, available at

Numbers of businesses are estimated from:

  • Industry surveys (Sawmill Survey, Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers) and industry associations (UK Forest Products Association, Wood Panel Industries Federation) – for businesses believed to be using UK-grown roundwood, and
  • UK Business: Activity, Size and Location (Office for National Statistics) – for VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses (

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)

The Annual Business Survey (Annual Business Inquiry prior to 2009), statistics on health and safety and statistics on VAT and/or PAYE registrations classify businesses by UK Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. Detailed information on the SIC is available at Businesses are classified to SIC codes according to their main activity. The SIC codes are revised periodically to take account of changes in the global economy. The following codes from SIC 2003 and SIC 2007 have been used in this edition of Forestry Statistics:

Standard Industrial Classification
Title SIC 2003 SIC 2007
Forestry 02 (forestry, logging & related services) 02 (forestry and logging)
Wood products 20 (manufacture of wood and wood products) 16 (manufacture of wood and products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials)
Sawmilling 20.1 (sawmilling and planing of wood, impregnation of wood) 16.1 (sawmilling and planing of wood)
Panels 20.2 (manufacture of veneer sheets, manufacture of plywood, laminboard, particleboard and other panels and boards) 16.21 (manufacture of veneer sheets and wood-based panels);
Secondary products Other SIC 20 (manufacture of builders’ carpentry and joinery, wooden containers, and other products of wood, straw and plaiting materials) Other SIC 16 (manufacture of assembled parquet floors, other builders’ carpentry and joinery, wooden containers, and other products of wood, straw and plaiting materials)
Pulp, paper & paper products 21 (manufacture of pulp, paper and paperboard). 17 (manufacture of paper and paper products)
Pulp & paper 21.1 (manufacture of pulp, paper and paper products) 17.1 (manufacture of pulp, paper and paperboard)
Articles of paper & paperboard 21.2 (manufacture of articles of paper and paperboard) 17.2 (manufacture of articles of paper and paperboard)
Total wood processing SIC 20 + SIC 21 SIC 16 + SIC 17
Total primary wood processing SIC 20.1 + SIC 20.2 + SIC 21.1 SIC 16.1 + SIC 16.21 + SIC 17.1

In addition figure 7.1, covering accidents to employees, also uses the following SIC 2003/2007 codes:

  • Agriculture etc: 01/01 (agriculture, hunting) + 02/02 (forestry, logging & related services) + 05/03 (fishing, exc sea fishing);
  • Manufacturing: 15-37/10-33 (all categories of manufacturing).


The forestry and wood processing businesses covered by the Annual Business Survey (Table 7.1), accidents to employees (Table 7.3) and VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses (Table 7.5) differ from those covered by the timber industry surveys and enquiries (Chapter 2, Tables 7.2 and 7.4), as follows:

  • Businesses below VAT and PAYE thresholds are excluded from the SIC-based statistics;
  • businesses whose main activity is not forestry or wood processing will be allocated to other SIC codes and therefore excluded from the relevant tables on the Annual Business Survey, accidents and VAT and/or PAYE businesses;
  • businesses that do not use UK-grown roundwood are excluded from the Forestry Commission’s timber industry surveys and enquiries;
  • businesses involved in secondary wood processing are excluded from the Forestry Commission’s timber industry surveys and enquiries.

Reporting requirements for accidents have changed, with absences of at least 3 days to be reported until March 2012 and absences of at least 7 days to be reported from April 2012. As a result, accident data from 2012-13 are not fully consistent with figures for earlier years.


Statistics on employment and businesses obtained from others are subject to revision whenever the source data are revised. Statistics from timber industry surveys and enquiries are subject to revision whenever the timber statistics are revised (see relevant pages within the Sources’ chapter for further information on revisions to industry surveys and enquiries).

The Forestry Commission’s revisions policy sets out how revisions and errors to these statistics are dealt with, and can be found at: FCrevisions.pdf.

Further information

For further information, please refer to our Employment statistics page at

Release schedule

For information on the release schedules of statistics produced by others, see relevant websites (above).

“Forestry Statistics 2017” and “Forestry Facts & Figures 2017” will be released on 28 September 2017.

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