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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.

All of the statistics presented in this chapter have been previously released.

The statistics on carbon sequestration (Table 4.2 and Figure 4.2) and Woodland Carbon Code (Tables 4.3a and 4.3b) have been revised since “Forestry Statistics 2017”.  For further details 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

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 assessment of the science published in November 2009 and available from The Stationery Office.

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 fall from around 21 million tonnes CO2 in total in 2020 to around 19 million tonnes CO2 by 2030.
  • A total of 239 projects were registered under the Woodland Carbon Code at 31 March 2018, covering an area of 16.1 thousand hectares of woodland and projected to sequester 5.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  • 84% of the UK public agrees with the statement “a lot more trees should be planted” in response to the threat from climate change.

Further information:

Sources chapter: UK Forests and Climate Change

Tools & Resources
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Tools & Resources