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Land use

Not all land that is owned or managed by Forestry England, Forest and Land Scotland, Natural Resources Wales and 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 England/ Forestry and Land Scotland/ Natural Resources Wales/ Forest Service land in the UK at 31 March 2019 (Table 1.5). This proportion was highest in Wales (95%) and lowest in Scotland (74%).

Table 1.5 Land use of FE, FLS, NRW and FS1, 2015-2019

Year England Wales  Scotland  Northern Ireland  UK 
thousand hectares     
Woodland     
2015 215 117 478 62 871
2016 215 117 470 62 864
2017 214 117 469 62 863
2018 215 117 470 62 864
2019 215 117 469 62 863
Other land2     
2015 38 7 171 13 229
2016 38 7 170 13 228
2017 39 7 169 13 227
2018 39 6 169 13 227
2019 38 6 165 13 223
Total FE/FLS/NRW/FS land area
2015 253 124 649 75 1100
2016 253 124 640 75 1092
2017 253 124 638 75 1090
2018 253 123 639 75 1090
2019 253 123 634 75 1085

Source: Forestry England, Forestry and Land Scotland, Natural Resources Wales, Forest Service.

Notes:

1. FE: Forestry England, FLS: Forestry and Land 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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