This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.
Woodland area as a percentage of total land area, and woodland area certified as sustainably managed as a percentage of total woodland area
This indicator shows total woodland area as a percentage of land area, and the area of woodland that is certified against agreed environmental standards as a percentage of woodland area. While the data presented by the UN uses the same source as we present here, there may be some inconsistencies due to differences in when data are updated, as updated data may include revisions for earlier years.
|Unit of measurement
Forest/woodland - All forest and woodland area over 0.5 hectare with a minimum of 20% canopy cover (25% in Northern Ireland) (or the potential to achieve it) and a minimum width of 20 metres, including areas of new planting, clearfell, windblow and restocked areas. This differs from the UN definition for which the minimum canopy cover is 10% (or the potential to achieve it)
Woodland certification - Woodland certification assesses management practices against agreed environmental standards. Certification requires that wood products are harvested legally and sustainably, and that important wildlife habitats are identified and are not negatively impacted by management. Woodland certification schemes promote good forest practice and are used to demonstrate that wood or wood products come from well-managed forests.
Woodland as a percentage of land area = (Area of woodland /Land area ) * 100
Certified woodland as a percentage of woodland area = (Area of certified woodland / Woodland area) * 100
Non-certified woodland as a percentage of land area = Woodland as a percentage of land area - Certified woodland as a percentage of woodland area
Woodland area estimates for Great Britain are based on the National Forest Inventory (NFI) Woodland map. For Northern Ireland, following a change of methodology in 2012, woodland area estimates are based on the Northern Ireland Woodland Register. Figures for Northern Ireland (total and non-certified) and the whole of the UK (total and non-certified) prior to 2013 are available at Forest Research, but are not shown here, as estimates before the change in methodology are not directly comparable to those after.
All certified woodland is certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) scheme or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) scheme, with many woodlands certified under both. Certified woodland areas are often used as an indicator of sustainable forest management, however, woodland that is not certified may also be sustainably managed. Some choose not to become certified because there is a cost involved in getting certified and there may be little incentive for woodland owners to get their woodlands certified if timber production is not a major objective.
Certification in the UK began in 1996. Data prior to 2004 are not presented here due to differences in methodology, which mean the data are not directly comparable.
New certificates may relate to existing woodland that was not previously certified, or to newly planted areas.
The land area and forest area measurements used here are ‘flat’ as they do not take into account variations in relief e.g. mountains and valleys.
For further information on the methodology and quality of woodland area estimates please see the Quality Report on the Forest Research Resources page. Data follows the UN specification for this indicator. This indicator has been identified in collaboration with topic experts.
|Data last updated
|19 January 2023
|Metadata last updated
|02 February 2023