Views sought on the National Forest Inventory

A survey to support an independent review of the National Forest Inventory (NFI) has been launched today, Wednesday 17 June 2020.

The survey calls on landowners, forestry and woodland professionals, and others with an interest to contribute their views on what information the future NFI produces.

The independent review, commissioned by Forest Research, is being undertaken by a board of four experts from the public and private forestry sector.

Established in 2009, the NFI was mandated and implemented to produce an enduring evidence base of woodlands across Great Britain which could meet both current and future reporting requirements. The review will inform the planning and reporting schedule of future NFIs.

Professor James Pendlebury, Chief Executive of Forest Research, said:

“I am pleased the Review Board have launched the survey today. Evidence from the NFI has underpinned many recent woodland policy and forest sector decisions across Great Britain.

“We must ensure that future NFIs continue to produce both high quality and relevant information on trees, woods and forests.

“This timely review comes at a time when technological advances offer new opportunities, and increased interest from both the public and governments in woodland data has never been higher.”

The survey is available on the Forest Research website at and is available until 17 July 2020. The final report is due at the beginning of 2021.


The NFI programme represents a long-term, national-level monitoring programme on the extent and condition of woodlands in Great Britain. It is composed of two elements: an earth observation programme to identify the location and extent of woodlands over 0.5 ha in size and; a fieldwork programme to assess the composition and condition of the mapped woodland areas.
The activities run on rolling annual and five-year cycles respectively. They provide information on the current state of woodlands and a continuous record of change over time.
Over the past decade the NFI has collected an archive of annual GB woodland area and two detailed assessments of woodland composition arising from two completed field survey cycles and a third scheduled to begin.
For more information on how the NFI collects and reports on this woodland database visit
The External Review Board is comprised of Peter Whitfield from Tilhill Forestry, Lawrence Way from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Mark Broadmeadow from the Forestry Commission and Kari T. Korhonen from the Natural Resources Institute of Finland.

Forest Research:

Forest Research is Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree-related research, and is internationally renowned for the provision of evidence and scientific services in support of sustainable forestry. and on Twitter @Forest_Research

Posted on the 17th June 2020 at 12:18pm.