The Forestry Commission is responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woodlands & last month they released their Forestry Statistics 2019 report.
We had a read through and pulled out some of the key findings regarding the UK’s Woodland Area & Planting:
As of 31st March 2019, the UK has a total of 3.19 million hectares of woodland – 13% of the total UK land area. 27% of this woodland is owned or managed by Forestry Commission (Forestry England, Forestry Land & Scotland, Natural Resources Wales & Forest Service (Northern Ireland)).
There are 1.4m hectares of certified woodland in the UK (as independently audited against the UK Woodland Assurance Standard) representing 44% of that total area. (Forestry certification schemes exist to promote good forest practice and are often used as an indicator of sustainable forest management.)
The benefits of woodland creation are well known including flood prevention, enhancing biodiversity and the many health benefits they provide, but we mustn’t overlook their ability to store carbon. They soak up carbon dioxide, removing it from our atmosphere and slow the changes to our climate.
Between 2018 – 19 13,000 hectares of new woodland were created in the UK, with conifers accounting for 60% of that new planting area.
At 13.4 thousand hectares in 2018 – 19, the current level of new planting represents a 47% increase from the 9.1 thousand hectares achieved in the previous year and continues to increase from 2015-16!
The full report can be read here; https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/statistics/forestry-statistics/forestry-statistics-2019/