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Table 1.15 shows the area covered by unconditional felling licences issued by the Forestry Commission in England and Scotland since 2007-08. The figures do not include unconditional felling licences issued to permit thinning of woodlands. The table covers woodland in England and Scotland that is not owned or managed by the Forestry Commission only; it does not cover felling that is exempt from felling licence approval (such as authorisations for felling under planning regulations, felling required under a Statutory Plant Health Notice or felling that is approved on condition that the area is restocked).

A total of 0.2 thousand hectares of woodland in England was covered by unconditional felling licences (with no requirement to restock) in the year to March 2017. The level in Scotland was under 50 hectares.

Table 1.15 Area of private sector woodland covered by unconditional felling licences1, 2007-08 to 2016-17

Year England Scotland
thousand hectares  
2007-08 0.4 0.1
2008-09 0.4 0.2
2009-10 0.5 0.2
2010-11 0.5 0.1
2011-12 0.6 0.1
2012-13 0.3 0.2
2013-14 0.4 0.1
2014-15 0.2 0.1
2015-16 0.2 0.2
2016-17 0.2 0.0


Source: Forestry Commission


1. Felling licences issued in the period. Excludes areas exempt from felling licence approval or under Forestry Commission grant, and licences issued for thinning.

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics

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