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Wood production

Wood production


Figures on UK wood production (or removals) are compiled from a variety of sources:

  • Forestry Commission (FC), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Forest Service (FS) administrative records – for all removals from FC/NRW/FS woodlands;

  • the Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey – for softwood removals from private sector woodlands and

  • statistics on deliveries – for total hardwood removals.

The compilation of data on wood production was extended in 2004 to include Northern Ireland.

These sources cover removals of roundwood (trunk and branch wood) only. A survey was introduced in 2009 to collect data on removals of brash (branch wood and leaf material) and stumps (above-ground base part of trees). The collection of stump removals was discontinued in 2012.

The software used to record Forestry Commission sales has included some sales of mixed softwood and hardwood as softwood in previous years.

Further information on administrative sources can be found at:


Figures for removals from FC/NRW/FS woodlands are converted from cubic metres (m3) to green tonnes using standard conversion factors. For total softwood figures, the results from the Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey are combined with the data for FC/NRW/FS woodlands to produce total softwood removals.

For hardwood figures, the total hardwood removals are assumed to equal the total hardwood deliveries (obtained from industry surveys and industry associations; see subsequent pages for further information on these sources). Hardwood removals from FC/NRW/FS woodlands are then subtracted to give an estimate of the amount of hardwood removed from private sector woodlands.

Softwood removals methodology change

The methodology used to estimate the quantity of UK softwood removals from private sector woodland was revised for the release of provisional 2011 estimates in “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2011 provisional figures”. Details of the change in methodology and its impact on the figures are available in the “Methodology Review of Softwood Removals from Non-FC/FS Woodland” paper, available at rem_methodology_rev2011-12.pdf.


Private sector softwood removals are subject to revision annually (see following page, on the Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey). Removals from FC/NRW/FS woodlands are not normally revised. Total hardwood removals (and consequently hardwood removals from private sector woodlands) are subject to annual revisions (see notes on deliveries for further information).

Figures for 2016 are final; provisional figures were previously released in “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2016 provisional figures”. Figures for 2012 to 2016 have been revised from those provided in “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2016 provisional figures” to take account of additional returns and quality assurance checks. This has resulted in changes of:

  • no more than 1% in total UK softwood removals between 2012 and 2016, including downward revisions of up to 1% in softwood removals from FC/NRW/FS woodlands;
  • up to 11% in total UK hardwood removals to reflect revisions to estimated exports of hardwood roundwood.

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

Further information

Figures are published as UK totals. Country breakdowns (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) are also published for softwood in table 2.2 for private sector removals and table 2.3 for FC/NRW/FS removals. Approximate country breakdowns are also estimated for hardwood removals.

Longer time series, presenting estimates of FC/NRW/FS and private sector removals by country and by softwood/hardwood are available from the Data Downloads web page.

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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