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Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers


The Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers is an annual survey conducted by the Forestry Commission (in association with the Forest Service) of round fencing manufacturers (or mills) in the UK that are believed to consume UK-grown roundwood.

The survey, which previously covered mills in Great Britain only, was extended in 2004 to include those in Northern Ireland. Figures for Northern Ireland in earlier years have therefore been estimated, based on responses to the 2004 survey.

Figures are published as UK totals and by size of mill.

Longer time series, providing data on numbers of mills and on softwood consumption are available from the Data Downloads web page. The time series data feature breakdowns by size of mill and by country.

Data collected

The questionnaire used for the Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers is issued to around 60 mills, to collect information on the consumption of UK-grown and (from 2006) imported roundwood. In 2008, the survey was extended to cover woodfuel quantities (sales to bioenergy, sales as firewood and internal use for heat/ energy) and total employment. In 2010, the survey was further extended to request data on production of round fencing and other products. A breakdown of the country of origin (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) for UK-grown roundwood is also requested.

More information on the Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers, including copies of the questionnaires sent to businesses in recent years, can be found at

Response rates

In 2016, the questionnaire was issued to 55 mills, of which 23 responded, giving a response rate of 42%. These respondents accounted for an estimated 49% of roundwood purchased by softwood round fencing manufacturers.

Year Forms issued Responses received Response rate1 Weighed response rate2
2007 103 67 65% ..
2008 87 55 63% 88%
2009 82 42 51% 56%
2010 79 34 43% 46%
2011 72 26 36% 58%
2012 68 26 38% 53%
2013 67 27 40% 51%
2014 62 26 42% 42%
2015 60 29 48% 54%
2016 55 23 42% 49%


1. Response rates are calculated as the number of responses received divided by the number of forms issued.

2. Weighted response rates have been calculated from the 2008 survey onwards. They are an estimate of the proportion of total roundwood purchased by softwood round fencing manufacturers that is accounted for by respondents.

.. Denotes data not available.



Each year, figures for non respondents are estimated by rolling forward data from previous years for these mills.



Detailed information on the survey quality is available in the “Quality Report: Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers” at qrfensur.pdf.

Further quality information on FC Official Statistics is available at:



Results from the Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers may be revised between the provisional figures published in the First Release “UK Wood Production and Trade: provisional figures” and the final data published in “Forestry Facts & Figures” and “Forestry Statistics” to take account of late returns and the results of additional data quality checking procedures.

All figures are subject to revision annually, as information becomes available about mills opening or closing, or new information becomes available for previous non-respondents. Such revisions are generally quite small.

Figures for 2016 are final; provisional figures were previously released in “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2016 provisional figures”. Since the publication of the 2016 provisional figures, downward revisions have been made to estimated softwood consumption by round fencing mills of 11 thousand green tonnes in 2016, 10 thousand green tonnes in 2015 and up to 2 thousand green tonnes in earlier years.

Information on revisions made since “Forestry Statistics 2016” are provided in “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2016 provisional figures”.


Release schedule

Provisional figures for 2017 will be released on 17 May 2018 in “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2017 provisional figures”.

Final figures for 2017 will be released on 27 September 2018 in “Forestry Statistics 2018” and “Forestry Facts & Figures 2018”.

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