The results of the 2013 National Forest Inventory are expected at end-March/early April. Further information will be included in April’s Forestry and Timber News. At this time there is still some work to do to validate and verify the data before publication.
The area of forest/woodland is greater than previously thought, though much of the increase is in the form of very small woods which were previously not detectable on small scale aerial photography. Early indications are that the average measured yield classes are higher than previous estimates and extrapolations. Also average stocking appears to be higher than previous estimates.
The Forestry Commission are careful not to describe the output of the NFI as a private sector production forecast but as a projection of biological availability. The volume produced during any given period will be determined by a wide range of factors (mostly economic or financially related) and there are constraints on the production of timber from specific woodlands. The actual volumes produced in any given period will also be influenced by the assumptions made and the FC will, in collaboration with industry, run scenarios to test the impacts of a range of assumptions.