In 2010, the total area of the UK covered by woodland was 3.1 million hectares; roughly the area covered by 4.1 million football pitches (or 1.5 times the area of Wales) - the highest since records began - and represents 12.7 per cent of the UK land area. This is more than two-and-a-half times the area covered in 1924 when these statistics were first collected. Much of this increase has been driven by commercial conifer plantations created between the 1950s and 1980s.
The UK apparent consumption – production and imports minus exports - of wood products increased in 2010 after decreasing for two consecutive years. In 2010, the apparent consumption increased, compared with 2009, as:
apparent consumption of sawnwood increased by 8.6 per cent to 8,591 thousand cubic metres
apparent consumption of wood based panel increased by 9.5 per cent to 5,561 thousand cubic metres
However, this was partly offset as:
apparent consumption of paper fell by 4.9 per cent to 9,905 thousand tonnes
Apparent consumption of sawnwood increased by 682.6 thousand cubic meters to 8,591 thousand cubic meters in 2010. This was mainly due to an increase in both imports and UK production of sawnwood. Imports increased by 8.5 per cent to 5,684 thousand cubic meters and UK production increased by 7.2 per cent to 3,078 thousand cubic metres.
Apparent consumption of wood based panels increased by 481.6 thousand cubic metres – the first increase since 2006 - to 5,561 thousand cubic metres in 2010. This was mainly due to an increase in both UK production and imports. UK production increased by 11.2 per cent to 3,370 thousand cubic metres and imports increased by 9.2 per cent to 2,731 thousand cubic metres.
Apparent consumption of paper decreased by 510.6 thousand tonnes to 9,905 thousand tonnes in 2010, the lowest level on record. This was mainly due to an increase in exports, together with a fall in imports. Exports rose by 36.2 per cent to 1,220 thousand tonnes, while imports fell by 2.7 per cent to 6,825 thousand tonnes.
Sources: Forestry Commission / Office for National Statistics
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