Statistics at Defra

We publish national and official statistics relating to the environment, rural communities, food, farming and biosecurity.

Our purpose

Defra, in partnership with its arms’ length bodies, publish a broad range of statistics and data on the environment, food, farming and biosecurity and marine. We see our statistics as a valuable public asset. Through them we seek to provide a window on the world across the areas covered by Defra’s policy and delivery remits and to inform the judgements and decisions made by the public, by organisations and by government.

Our portfolio

Defra Group publish regular and ad hoc statistics which provide accurate and impartial information across four main themes. Browse our main portfolios:

  1. Environment
  2. Food, Farming and BioSecurity
  3. Marine
  4. Rural

Our latest and upcoming publications

In current circumstances, the release dates of forthcoming Defra group statistics publications may need to change. Our aim is to flag any changes to planned publication dates as soon as we can.  Any decisions to change publications dates will be made in line with guidance from the Office for Statistics Regulation.

For queries about specific planned release dates, please contact the relevant mailboxes.

A separate calendar of release dates across the group for the year ahead, providing a split by month, is available Defra statistics release calendar, annual and monthly (ODS, 36.2 KB).

Our standards

We publish our national and official statistics guided by the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice for Statistics. Many of these are Accredited Official Statistics, which are subject to assessment by the UK Statistics Authority. Accredited Official Statistics are called National Statistics in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. Reports of all assessments  are published on the Authority’s website.

How we meet the standards of the Code

The arrangements we have in place to ensure we comply with the Code are set out in the documents below:

Defra Policy Statement on Revisions and Corrections

Pre-release access to official statistics

We publish details of how we comply with the Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Order 2008 and a list of the roles of those currently granted pre-release access to our key official statistics.

Ad hoc analyses and data releases

These publications provide analyses and data that are not classified as research or official statistics.

These are published in the interests of transparency and in response to specific questions.

Developing our portfolios

Defra and Defra Group more broadly has a wide portfolio of statistics and our commitment is to the continued development of that portfolio. Informed by the Code of Practice for Statistics, much of our focus is on understanding of external user needs. We are building a range of approaches for this – including direct engagement (e.g. via the @DefraStats Twitter account) and through enhanced web analytics. We will continue to evolve in response to feedback by looking at accessibility of formats and continue to look for opportunities to increase value. Looking further forward, we will continue to assess the opportunities provided by new technologies such as e-DNA and Earth observation.

Within each of our areas of interest, we will look to find the best long-term balance between:

  • Overall portfolio summary products such as the compendium of food and farming statistics.
  • Continued production of regular individual official statistical releases on specific topics.
  • Production of simpler more data focused releases (where user insight tells us that the external interest is in the numbers rather than the commentary).

Where we see the potential value of new official statistics products or developing existing products, we will look to use the mechanisms in the Code of Practice for Statistics. Specifically, we may introduce new Official statistics in Development, where we decide to develop a new output or modify an existing one. These statistics are, by definition, official statistics and are within the scope of the Code of Practice. During development, we seek feedback from users on their suitability and quality.

Another option open to us is to use the recently introduced Voluntary Application of the Code of Practice  approach.

Across Defra group, the following official statistics are in development:

Portfolio area Title Organisation and contact
Animal and plant health Plant Health: International trade and controlled consignments Defra
Environment Outcome Indicator Framework for the 25 Year Environment Plan – B3, State of the water environment Defra and the Environment Agency
  Outcome Indicator Framework for the 25 Year Environment Plan – H4, Exposure and adverse effects of chemicals on wildlife in the environment Defra and the Environment Agency
  Outcome Indicator Framework for the 25 Year Environment Plan – K4, Extent and condition of terrestrial and marine protected areas in the UK Overseas Territories Defra and JNCC
  UK Biodiversity Indicators: A4. Global biodiversity impacts of UK economic activity / sustainable consumption Defra and JNCC
  UK Biodiversity Indicators: C2. Habitat connectivity Defra and JNCC
  UK Biodiversity Indicators: C7. Plants of the wider countryside Defra and JNCC
  UK softwood removals and deliveries by country, 2015 2016
(Currently under review based on additional years’ data - see under Additional Resources)
Forestry Commission
Food and Farming Results
from the Labour in Horticulture Survey for England - Quarterly
  Farming statistics: Crop areas in England (sourced from Basic Payment Scheme data and the June Survey of Agriculture) Defra
Marine UK commercial sea fisheries landings by Exclusive Economic Zone of capture: 2012-2018 Marine Management Organisation
  Non-Quota uptake by UK vessels in EU waters) Marine Management Organisation

Within Defra group, we voluntarily apply the Code of Practice for Statistics in the following areas and have published statements of compliance describing how we apply the 3 pillars of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value:

Portfolio area Organisation Statement of Adoption Date of Adoption
Environment Defra Measuring environmental change: outcome indicator framework for the 25 Year Environment Plan May 2019
Food, Farming and Biosecurity Defra The Future Farming and Environment Evidence Compendium September 2019

User engagement

Defra engages with users of our statistics on an ongoing basis to help us understand more about how our statistics are used and the decisions they inform. Our User Engagement Strategy sets out how we aim to enhance our relationship with our customers and use feedback to develop and improve our statistics portfolio.

Defra User Engagement Policy Statement


We always welcome feedback. You can use our Twitter account @DefraStats. Alternatively, there are mailboxes for individual topic areas provided in the How to contact us section below. If you have a query about a specific publications, please use the contact details provided with the publication itself.

How to contact us

General enquiries

Defra Helpline

Seacole Building
2 Marsham Street

Contact form

Telephone (UK only) 03459 33 55 77

Telephone (from outside the UK) +44 20 7238 6951

The quickest way to get a response is to call our Helpline which is open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm (find out about call charges at, alternatively you can email us.

We aim to respond to queries within 20 working days, however due to the current volumes of correspondence we are receiving there could be a significant delay.

Portfolio area Portfolio sub-area Email address
Animal and Plant Health statistics TB in Cattle and non-bovines
Environment statistics
Food statistics Family Food
  Overseas trade in food, feed and drink
Farming statistics Agri-environment
  Farm accounts
  Farm Business Survey
  Farm prices
  Farm survey results
Rural statistics
Waste statistics