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Woodland area by ownership

The Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales and the Forest Service owned or managed 27% of the total woodland area in the UK in 2018 (Table 1.3). This proportion ranged from 16% of the woodland area in England to 55% in Northern Ireland.

Table 1.3 Area of woodland in the UK by ownership, 2014-2018

Ownership  England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
thousand hectares     
FC/NRW/FS woodland1     
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
Private sector woodland2     
2014 1087 189 947 50 2273
2015 1091 189 954 50 2283
2016 1091 190 965 50 2295
2017 1091 191 968 50 2301
2018 1093 191 975 50 2309
Total Woodland     
2014 1302 306 1424 111 3143
2015 1305 306 1432 112 3155
2016 1305 307 1435 112 3159
2017 1306 308 1438 112 3164
2018 1307 308 1445 113 3173

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

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. Private sector: all other woodland. Includes woodland previously owned/managed by the Countryside Council for Wales and the Environment Agency in Wales, other publicly owned woodland (e.g. owned by local authorities) and privately owned woodland.

3. Figures for England, Wales and Scotland are based on data obtained from the National Forest Inventory (NFI) and adjusted for new planting, but at present no adjustment is made for woodland recently converted to another land use. Further information on how the figures have been estimated is available in the Sources chapter.

4. Northern Ireland figures are obtained from the Northern Ireland Woodland Register.

5. Areas as at 31 March.

Additional resources

Sources chapter: Woodland area

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