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Forests

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of each county was covered by ancient woodland in (a) 1988, (b) 1998 and (c) 2008. (286364)

Figures for the years requested are not held.

The original ancient woodland inventory was carried out in the mid-1980s and was based on manual measurements of maps. The percentage by county recorded at that time is shown in the following table.

The original data was transferred to a digital map basis in the mid-1990s when it was updated and it has continued to be revised as new information becomes available. The current percentage by county is shown in the following table.

Although ancient woodland cannot be recreated, areas have been added and removed from the inventory to reflect new information on the status of the woodland. The vast majority of the changes in the inventory over this period are due to such corrections and adjustments to boundaries from the digitising process, and do not represent actual change on the ground.

Percentage of ancient woodland by county

Original inventory

Current inventory

Avon

2.4

2.1

Bedfordshire

2.1

2.2

Berkshire

4.6

4.4

Buckinghamshire

4.5

4.7

Cambridgeshire

0.8

0.8

Cheshire

0.7

0.8

Cleveland

2.5

2.3

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

1.9

2.0

Cumbria

2.3

2.5

Derbyshire

1.7

1.9

Devon

2.2

2.3

Dorset

2.9

2.8

Durham

1.7

1.5

East Sussex

10.4

11.4

Essex

2.4

2.4

Gloucestershire

6.7

6.8

Greater Manchester

0.6

0.7

Hampshire

6.8

7.6

Hereford and Worcester

4.7

4.8

Hertfordshire

3.3

3.5

Humberside

0.2

0.2

London

1.6

1.6

Isle of Wight

4.1

4.2

Kent

8.0

7.4

Lancashire

0.9

1.0

Leicestershire

1.0

1.0

Lincolnshire

1.0

1.1

Merseyside

0.2

0.0

Norfolk

0.5

0.5

North Yorkshire

1.7

1.8

Northamptonshire

2.7

2.9

Northumberland

1.0

1.0

Nottinghamshire

1.0

1.2

Oxfordshire

2.9

3.0

Shropshire

2.7

2.7

Somerset

2.6

2.7

South Yorkshire

2.9

2.9

Staffordshire

2.1

2.1

Suffolk

1.1

1.2

Surrey

5.8

5.8

Tyne and Wear

2.0

2.2

Warwickshire

2.1

2.1

West Midlands

0.8

0.8

West Sussex

8.5

9.2

West Yorkshire

1.7

1.9

Wiltshire

3.7

3.7