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The Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers is an annual survey conducted by Forest Research (on behalf of the Forestry Commission, Scottish Forestry, Natural Resources Wales and the Northern Ireland Forest Service) of round fencing manufacturers (or mills) in the UK that are believed to consume UK-grown roundwood.

Figures are published as UK totals and by size of mill.

Longer time series, providing data on numbers of mills and on softwood consumption are available at Data Downloads – Forest Research. The time series data feature breakdowns by size of mill and by country.

Data collected

The questionnaire used for the Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers is issued to around 50 mills, to collect information on the consumption of UK-grown and imported roundwood.  In 2008, the survey was extended to cover woodfuel quantities (sales to bioenergy, sales as firewood and internal use for heat/ energy) and total employment. In 2010, the survey was further extended to request data on production of round fencing and other products. A breakdown of the country of origin (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) for UK-grown roundwood is also requested. A question on total wood inputs was added for the 2018 survey.

More information on the Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers, including copies of the questionnaires sent to businesses in recent years, can be found at Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers – Forest Research.

Response rates

The questionnaire was issued to 53 mills for the collection of 2018 data, of which 22 responded, giving a response rate of 42%.  These respondents accounted for an estimated 37% of roundwood purchased by softwood round fencing manufacturers.

Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers Response Rates, 2009-2018

Year Forms issued Responses received Response rate1 Weighed response rate2
2009 82 42 51% 56%
2010 79 34 43% 46%
2011 72 26 36% 58%
2012 68 26 38% 53%
2013 67 27 40% 51%
2014 62 26 42% 42%
2015 60 29 48% 54%
2016 55 23 42% 49%
2017 53 21 40% 36%
2018 53 22 42% 37%


1. Response rates are calculated as the number of responses received divided by the number of forms issued.

2. Weighted response rates are an estimate of the proportion of total roundwood purchased by softwood round fencing manufacturers that is accounted for by respondents.


Each year, figures for non-respondents are estimated by rolling forward data from previous years for these mills.


Detailed information on the survey quality is provided in the Quality Report: Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers.

Further quality information on our Official Statistics is available at: Quality of Official Statistics – Forest Research.


Results from the Survey of Round Fencing Manufacturers may be revised between the provisional figures published in the First Release “UK Wood Production and Trade: provisional figures” and the final data published in “Forestry Facts & Figures” and “Forestry Statistics” to take account of late returns and the results of additional data quality checking procedures.

All figures are subject to revision annually, as information becomes available about mills opening or closing, or new information becomes available for previous non-respondents.  Such revisions are generally quite small.

Figures for 2018 are final; provisional figures were previously released in “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2018 provisional figures”.  Figures for 2018 and earlier years have not been revised from those in “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2018 provisional figures”.  Information on revisions made since “Forestry Statistics 2018” are provided in “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2018 provisional figures”.

Release schedule

Provisional figures for 2019 will be released on 14 May 2020 in “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2019 provisional figures”.

Final figures for 2019 will be released on 24 September 2020 in “Forestry Statistics 2020” and “Forestry Facts & Figures 2020”.

Additional resources

Chapter 2: UK-Grown Timber

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