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The Forestry Commission reported in June 2016 on woodland and tree planting across the UK. This report showed the lowest level of tree planting in the UK for more than five years, and some organisations have raised concerns that the Government is not on track to achieve its Manifesto commitment to plant 11 million trees by 2020.

The main findings of the Forestry Commission’s report were:

  • The area of woodland in the UK at 31 March 2016 is 3.16 million hectares. This represents 13% of the total land area in the UK, 10% in England, 15% in Wales, 18% in Scotland and 8% in Northern Ireland.
  • Of the total UK woodland area, 0.86 million hectares is owned or managed by the Forestry Commission (in England and Scotland), Natural Resources Wales or the Forest Service (in Northern Ireland).
  • The total certified woodland area in the UK at 31 March 2016 is 1.35 million hectares. Overall, 43% of the UK woodland area is certified.
  • 6,000 ha of newly created woodland were reported in the UK in 2015-16, mostly with broadleaved species.
  • 14,000 ha of woodland resstocking were repoerted in the UK in 2015-16, mostly with conifers.

Forestry is a devolved matter. Forestry Commission England; Forestry Commission Scotland; Natural Resources Wales; and the Forest Service (NI) are the relevant Government agencies responsible for managing woodlands in each respective country.

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