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Wood production

Sources

Figures on UK wood production (or removals) are compiled from a variety of sources: 

  • Forestry England (FE), Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Northern Ireland Forest Service (FS) administrative records – for all removals from FE/FLS/NRW/FS woodlands;
  • the Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey – for softwood removals from private sector woodlands and
  • statistics on deliveries – for total hardwood removals.

The compilation of data on wood production was extended in 2004 to include Northern Ireland. 

These sources cover removals of roundwood (trunk and branch wood) only.  A survey was introduced in 2009 to collect data on removals of brash (branch wood and leaf material) and stumps (above-ground base part of trees).  The collection of stump removals was discontinued in 2012.

Methodology

Figures for removals from FE/FLS/NRW/FS woodlands are converted from cubic metres (m3) to green tonnes using standard conversion factors.  For total softwood figures, the results from the Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey are combined with the data for FE/FLS/NRW/FS woodlands to produce total softwood removals.

For hardwood figures, the total hardwood removals are assumed to equal the total hardwood deliveries (obtained from industry surveys and industry associations; see subsequent pages for further information on these sources).  Hardwood removals from FE/FLS/NRW/FS woodlands are then subtracted to give an estimate of the amount of hardwood removed from private sector woodlands.

Softwood removals methodology change

The methodology used to estimate the quantity of UK softwood removals from private sector woodland was revised for the release of provisional 2011 estimates in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2011 provisional figures".  Details of the change in methodology and its impact on the figures are available in the "Methodology Review of Softwood Removals from Non-FC/FS Woodland" paper, available at Forest Research – Methodology and Outputs.

Revisions

Private sector softwood removals are subject to revision annually (see following page, on the Private Sector Softwood Removals Survey).  Removals from FE/FLS/NRW/FS woodlands are not normally revised.  Total hardwood removals (and consequently hardwood removals from private sector woodlands) are subject to annual revisions (see notes on deliveries for further information).

Figures for 2018 are final; provisional figures were previously released in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2018 provisional figures". Figures for 2014 to 2018 have been revised from those provided in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2018 provisional figures" to take account of additional returns and quality assurance checks.  This has resulted in an upward revision to the estimates for hardwood removals (total and private sector) by 100 thousand green tonnes to reflect additional hardwood use for woodfuel.

Information on revisions made since "Forestry Statistics 2018" are provided in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2018 provisional figures".

Further information

Figures are published as UK totals.  Country breakdowns (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) are also published for softwood in table 2.2 for private sector removals and table 2.3 for FE/FLS/NRW/FS removals.  Approximate country breakdowns are also estimated for hardwood removals.

Longer time series, presenting estimates of FE/FLS/NRW/FS and private sector removals by country and by softwood/hardwood are available from the Forest Research – Data Downloads web page.

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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