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The National Forest: Headline Facts and Figures March 2016

Planting Progress

  • Around 8.5 million trees have been planted since 1995.
  • Forest cover has increased from an initial 6% to 20.2%. The aim is for around a third cover at the completion of planting, so we are more than halfway to that aim!
  • 7,170ha of new Forest creation have been secured since 1991.
  • In 2015/2016, 110ha 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).

Woodland Management

  • 2,037ha of young woodland and 696ha of mature woodland were brought into management from 2013 2016.
  • 49% of all woodlands are in management; 60% when woods less than 10 years old are excluded (early establishment phase).
  • 123 approved Woodland Management Plans are in place.
  • Local communities are involved in managing over 40 woodlands.

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 175 new wildlife ponds have been created.

Public Participation, Education & Recreation

  • Between 1995 and March 2016, 314,482 people have participated in Forest-related events.
  • Nearly 11,500 people have been involved in Plant a Tree events since 2007.
  • 551,971 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, 29,293 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 c140m and is set to create long term benefits of around 700m when the Forest is completed.
  • Since 1995, c172m 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.