Forestry statistics, forecasts and surveys

Natural Resources Wales produces a variety of data, information and evidence. For forestry matters, we do so at a variety of scales which range from monitoring the impacts of local projects to long-term studies investigating UK-wide research on environmental change. You can find out more about our evidence and how to download our data by following the relevant links.

Key information for Wales

The main forestry statistics for Wales are published annually by the Welsh Government in the Woodlands for Wales Indicator report, which is linked to the Woodlands for Wales Strategy. This annual report provides information and statistics on area of woodland, new planting, economic output and the number of visits made to woodlands. The key points from the latest report are as follows:

  • The area of woodland in Wales has increased over the last thirteen years and now stands at 306,000 hectares
  • The amount of new planting has increased between 2009 and 2014 when a total of 3,289 hectares were planted, but the rate of planting fell back in 2015 to 103 hectares
  • The forestry sector in Wales has an annual Gross Value Added (GVA) of £499.3 million and employs between 8,500 and 11,300 people
  • 64 percent of surveyed adults in Wales reported having visited woodland recreationally in the last few years and 52 percent of all outdoor visits included time spent in woodland

Working together to collate and publish evidence

Most of our forestry evidence is funded, collated and published in conjunction with other agencies and partners. UK and country-specific statistics are made available via the Forestry Commission website. By following the relevant links, you can see details of our compliance with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Official Statistics, statistical survey control, statistical reviews and the Forestry Commission’s annual work plan.

There are also links to the following resources:

Related issues include:

  • The Forest Industry studies relating to the forest and wood industries
  • Non-market Valuesstudies relating to the non-market costs and benefits of forests, such as recreation and biodiversity
  • Economic Impacts studies of economic impact, eg in terms of employment and gross value added
  • Policy evaluations of programmes, appraisals of policy options and studies of policy instruments

National Forest Inventory

The National Forest Inventory provides key data and information about Britain’s forests and woodlands. It includes details such as the area, distribution, composition and condition of woodlands, as well as information about species, ages and sizes of trees. It includes a woodland map, as well as summary reports, statistics, forecasts and scenarios. One important report that utilises a variety of data is the “production forecast”. Forestry businesses, especially wood processors, can use this information to assist with their business planning and to predict the availability of a range of timber products. Country-level production forecasts help to model policy decisions and investment proposals. The production forecast produces a report for the next 25-50 years and uses a variety of assumptions to estimate when timber will be felled and anticipated yields in terms of species and range of wood products. Foresters also use production forecast tools locally, often as part of a GIS package, to test drafts of forest management plans.

Data for the Welsh Government Woodland Estate

The Welsh Government Woodland Estate is managed by Natural Resources Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government. To and meet the expectations of our stakeholders who have asked that we will share relevant information about the management of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate, we compile and produce a range of data and information:

Contact us

If you would like to contact the Sustainable Forest Management Team in Natural Resources Wales you can send your enquiry to

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