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There are 4,549 ha of woodland on the Isle of Wight. The largest owner is the Forestry Commission with 1,123 ha. The remaining woodland is divided between many other owners. Much of the woodland has been under-managed for a considerable time because markets for timber on the Island are very limited, particularly for softwoods.

There is one permanent sawmill and several mobile sawmills though none cut large amounts of timber. It is uneconomic to transport logs by ferry for sawmilling on the mainland (where they are also kiln dried) resulting in low prices for woodland owners. The Forestry Commission reported approximately 1,000 ha of overstood coppice which would benefit from renewed management.

Wood and timber can be processed on the Island to produce renewable, sustainable, natural materials for niche construction, landscaping and furniture, among other end uses. Locally produced woodland products have strong environmental credentials and low transportation distances, making them good value and sustainable.

There is a strong demand for wood as fuel, either chipped or as logs. A recent report noted that the Isle of Wight has resources for a viable wood fuel supply and a small group of skilled and experienced personnel.