Conservation group WWF accuses UK of importing 3.2m cubic metres a year costing £712m

The UK is the world’s third largest importer of illegal timber, according to a new report from conservation group WWF.

The country brings in around 3.2m cubic metres a year at a cost of around £712m. Only China and Japan import more illegal timber.

The construction business is the biggest recipient with more than 65% of the illegal timber going into the industry. WWF says that most of the wood originates from or comes through Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Latvia.

WWF has produced the report to highlight the lack of regulation in this area. At the moment there is no legislation to stop illegal timber coming to the UK and the group is calling on the government to urge the European Commission to introduce new laws.