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27/03/14 09:32

High Nature Value Farming and Forestry Indicators, 2009-2013

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published statistics on High Nature Value Farming and Forestry Indicators, 2009 to 2013.

High Nature Value Farming and Forestry (HNVFF) refers to farming and forestry systems important for the environmental benefits they provide, including support for a range of habitats and species considered to be of high nature conservation importance.

The main purpose of these statistics is to monitor the area of HNVFF in Scotland, in support of monitoring the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) and other Scottish Government strategies such as the Land Use Strategy.

The key results show that:

  • In 2013 the total area of Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA) estimated to be under High Nature Value (HNV) farming systems was estimated at 2.4 million hectares. This accounts for 44 per cent of the total UAA, including common grazings.
  • The area estimated as being under HNV farming has ranged between 2.3 and 2.4 million hectares of agricultural land between 2009 and 2013. This equates to a range of between 41 per cent and 44 per cent of the UAA.
  • Geographically, the Highlands made up the largest area of HNV farming in Scotland (43 per cent of HNV area being in Highland), followed by Argyll (11 per cent) and Tayside (10 per cent).
  • The area of woodland determined to be of HNV status was estimated to be 575,000 hectares as of 2013. This accounts for 41 per cent of the total woodland in Scotland (1,410,000 hectares).

These statistics have been derived from information collected through the June Agricultural Census and woodland surveys conducted by the Forestry Commission.

Notes to editors

The Statistical Publication titled High Nature Vale Farming and Forestry Indicators, 2009 to 2013 is available at:

Please note that there have been methodological changes in estimating the area of HNV farmland since the last publication in 2011 and therefore care should be taken when comparing the statistics over time. The HNV farmland statistics for 2009 have also been revised in this publication. Full details of the methodology can be seen in section 6 of the publication.

Further information the development of these indicators can be accessed in the publication Developing High Nature Value Farming and Forestry Indicators for the Scotland Rural Development Programme:

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:




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