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2016 – UK Forests and Climate Change


This chapter contains information on:

  • carbon in forests;
  • the Woodland Carbon Code; and
  • public attitudes to forestry and climate change.

Estimates for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are included, where possible, in addition to UK totals. International comparisons of carbon stocks are provided in the International Forestry chapter. Further information on the data sources and methodology used to compile the figures is provided in the Sources chapter.

For information on revisions, see the UK Forests and Climate Change section of the Sources chapter.

A copy of all UK Forests and Climate Change tables is available to download as an Excel spreadsheet from the Tables for Download page.

In addition to the statistics presented here, information on UK forests and climate change is available from “Combating Climate Change – a role for UK forests” (The Read Report), an independent asessment of the science published in November 2009 and available at

Key findings

The main findings are:

  • The total carbon stock in UK forests is estimated to have increased between 1990 and 2015.
  • The annual rate of accumulation of carbon in UK forests is forecast to peak around 2030 and is expected to fall steadily afterwards.
  • A total of 238 projects were registered under the Woodland Carbon Code at 30 June 2016, covering an area of 16.0 thousand hectares of woodland and projected to sequester 5.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  • 73% of the UK public agrees with the statement “trees are good because they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in wood”.
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