In August 2008 the Forestry Commission consultated visitors to Bourne Woods, South Lincolnshire to seek their views. The questions asked how they currently use the site and how they would like the woodland's recreational facilities managed in the future.
A short questionnaire was used in two sessions on site at Bourne Woods and was also available for people to complete and return by the end of September 2008.
The Forestry Commission received a total of 241 completed questionnaires.
The key findings were:
- Broadly the consultation confirmed that a very large proportion of peolple visiting Bourne Woods come from the town of Bourne or the immediate ring of villages. Relatively few people travel further than 25 miles regularly to visit.
- Those who travel to visit Bourne Woods, mostly drive from the fenland towns and villages of Sleaford, Spalding and the Deepings. There are not many visitors from the City of Peterborough, and the district centre at Grantham despite the large size of these communities.
- The majority of the visitors to the wood know it well and are able to navigate around easily by themselves. However, a smaller but significant number of first-time and less-frequent visitors come to the wood and still require help to find their way around.
- The survey revealed that a significant number of people, around a quarter of those surveyed, walk to the woods and the majority of visitors come by car. Those that come by car all park in the main woodland car park.
- The toilets, waymarked walks and play areas are all well used and valued to varying degrees however concerns were raised about design and maintenance.
- The results showed that visitors would prefer to to pay for parking to keep recreation facilities rather than lose them and park for free.
- The majority of those consulted said they would use a café in the woods.
Over the next few months the Forestry Commission will be discussing these results with key community groups with the intention to create a recreation management plan for Bourne Woods that is sustainable in the long term and meets the needs of the users.