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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.

A copy of all carbon tables can be accessed in spreadsheet format from the Data Downloads web page at

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 at

This chapter previously included statistics on net annual changes in carbon in UK woodlands.  No update is currently available, and this data will be updated in Forestry Statistics 2020.  Previous results can be accessed from Forestry Statistics 2018 at

Key findings

The main findings are:

  • The total carbon stock in UK forests is estimated to have increased between 1990 and 2015, and to continue increasing to 2020.
  • A total of 187 projects had been validated to the Woodland Carbon Code at 31 March 2019, covering almost 8,300 hectares and projected to sequester 3.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetime.
  • In 2019, 88% of the UK public agreed with the statement “a lot more trees should be planted” in response to the threat from climate change.

Further information:

Sources chapter: Carbon

Tools & Resources
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Tools & Resources