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Land use

Not all land that is owned or managed by the Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales or the Forest Service in Northern Ireland is woodland; other land uses include agricultural land, mountain areas and moorland.

The woodland areas and land areas shown for Natural Resources Wales relate to areas previously owned or managed by Forestry Commission Wales. They exclude any areas previously owned or managed by other parts of Natural Resources Wales, such as the former Environment Agency Wales and the former Countryside Council for Wales.

Woodland accounted for 79% of all Forestry Commission/Natural Resources Wales/Forest Service land in the UK at 31 March 2018 (Table 1.5). This proportion was highest in Wales (95%) and lowest in Scotland (74%).

Table 1.5 Land use of the FC, NRW and FS1, 2014-2018

Year England Wales  Scotland  Northern Ireland  UK 
thousand hectares     
Woodland     
2014 215 117 477 62 871
2015 215 117 478 62 871
2016 215 117 470 62 864
2017 214 117 469 62 863
2018 214 117 470 62 864
Other land2     
2014 38 7 170 14 228
2015 38 7 171 13 229
2016 38 7 170 13 228
2017 39 7 169 13 228
2018 39 6 169 13 227
Total FC/NRW/FS land area
2014 253 124 647 75 1099
2015 253 124 649 75 1100
2016 253 124 640 75 1092
2017 253 124 638 75 1090
2018 253 123 639 75 1090

Source: Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales, Forest Service.

Notes:

1. FC: Forestry Commission (England and Scotland), NRW: Natural Resources Wales, FS: Forest Service (Northern Ireland). NRW estimates only relate to woodland formerly owned/managed by FC Wales.

2. “Other land” includes agricultural land and areas of moorland and mountain.

3. Areas as at 31 March.

Additional resources

Sources chapter: Woodland area

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