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The National Forest: Headline Facts and Figures - May 2015

Planting Progress

  • Around 8.5 million trees have been planted since 1995.
  • Forest cover has increased from an initial 6% to 20%. The aim is for around a third cover at the completion of planting, so we are more than halfway to that aim!
  • 7,059ha of new Forest creation have been secured since 1991.
  • In 2014/2015, 128ha of creation were added to the total area of Forest.

How the Forest is planted

  • Planting is achieved through a range of mechanisms, especially through private landowners; 400ha of new Forest creation has been secured to date through the Changing Landscapes Scheme introduced in 2008.
  • 22% of all Forest creation has been achieved through the planning system.
  • 89% of trees planted have been broadleaf species and 11% conifer.
  • 80% of the total Forest creation achieved has open public access and a further 6% of sites have access planned (86% in total).

Wildlife & Nature Conservation

  • Since 1995, over 2,200ha of habitats important for wildlife have been created or brought back into management.
  • 97km (60 miles) of new hedgerows have been planted and over 150 new wildlife ponds have been created.

Public Participation, Education & Recreation

  • Between 1995 and 2014, over 292,000 people have participated in Forest-related events.
  • Nearly 11,000 people have been involved in Plant a Tree events since 2007.
  • 516,473 children have enjoyed environmental education sessions at Rosliston Forestry Centre since 1997 and Conkers from 2001.
  • Over 45 new sport and recreation facilities have been created including fishing, mountain biking, orienteering, carriage driving, cross country horseriding and sledging.
  • 102km of new cycleways have been created, including 60km of Sustrans routes and 16km of trails at the new Hicks Lodge Cycle Centre.


  • Since 1997, over 28,500 workdays have been arranged in the Forest by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).

Investment & Regeneration

  • The Forest has already provided a positive net public benefit of c£140m and is set to create long term benefits of around £700m when the Forest is completed.
  • Since 1995, c£172m has been invested in Forest-related and regeneration projects and programmes.
  • 333 jobs have been created/safeguarded through forestry, farm diversification to forest uses and woodland businesses.
  • Tourism is worth £373m pa (£286m in 2003).
  • There were 7.8 million visitors to The National Forest in 2014 and 4,842 tourism related jobs.
  • Since 2003 £1,367,734 has been raised from business sponsorship and donations from the public.
  • There are nine woodfuel installations in the Forest area, contributing towards renewable energy.