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This chapter presents a range of information about the woodland environment, mostly using sources that are outside the scope of National Statistics. They are included to provide additional context to the topic.

Estimates for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are included, where possible, in addition to GB or UK totals. 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 environment tables can be accessed in spreadsheet format from the Data Downloads page.

Key findings

The main findings are:

  • In 2013, the total area of native woodland in Great Britain is estimated to be around 1.51 million hectares (49% of all woodland in Great Britain).
  • In 2013, non-native coniferous woodland is the single largest habitat type in Great Britain, accounting for 1.29 million hectares (42%).
  • Following a period of long-term decline through the 1970s and 1980s, the woodland bird index remained relatively stable during the 1990s and 2000s. Since 2010 woodland bird populations have continued to decline, with woodland generalist species down by 8% and woodland specialist species down by 28%.
  • After moderate declines through the 1990s, the woodland butterfly index has remained stable since the early 2000s, with woodland butterfly numbers up 0.5% since 2010.
  • Around four in five respondents (82%) to the UK Public Opinion of Forestry Survey 2023 agreed with the statement “action should be taken by authorities and woodland managers to protect trees from damaging pests and diseases”.


Chapter 5 - Environment

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Chapter 5 in PDF format

Chapter 5: Environment


Chapter 5 data set in OpenDocument Spreadsheet format

Methodology: Chapter 5 – Environment

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Methodology and data sources for Chapter 5

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