Forestry Commission logo
NEWS RELEASE No: 1620217 MARCH 2014

Nine in ten people believe forest visits can reduce stress

This news story is now over a year old and information may no longer be accurate or up-to-date. It might also contain obsolete links.
Please use our search link on the left to look for more recent information.
Children jumping over branches

Forestry Commission England’s national Forest Discovery Day aims to encourage more people to make time to visit their local woods and forests.

A Forestry Commission survey shows that 91 per cent of people agree that woods and forests are places where they can relax and de-stress, however one third of people feel that they don’t have enough time to visit.
The results come from the Forestry Commission’s latest Public Opinion of Forestry Survey.

With over half of England’s population living within six miles of public woodlands, the challenge is on to get more people visiting, enjoying and benefiting from spending time amongst trees and nature.

Taking on the task, Forestry Commission England is hosting a nationwide Forest Discovery Day on Sunday 30 March, which also falls during English Tourism Week (29 March – 6 April).

Events, trails and activities will take place at Forestry Commission locations across England.

Forestry Minister, Dan Rogerson, commented:

“Our woods and forests can offer so much to so many people; a natural playground for families, sanctuary from hectic lives or a place to test cycling skills on taxing trails. It’s important that people know more about their local woods and forests, so they can make the most of them.”

Director of Forestry Commission England, Ian Gambles, commented:

“The Forestry Commission works hard to create woods and forests that are good for people and wildlife, as well as producing ‘Grown in Britain’ timber and supporting the local economy. Forest Discovery Day is all about sharing the good work we do with visitors and encouraging people who may have not visited woods and forests for a while to take some time to enjoy them.”

Activities include a special trail to unravel the timber production process at Beechenhurst Lodge in the Forest of Dean, den building at Hamsterley Forest in Durham, a family volunteering day planting willow in North Yorkshire’s Guisborough Forest and family crafts at The National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Gloucestershire.

Visit to find out what is happening near you.

To make the most of your local woods and forests, the Forestry Commission Discovery Pass covers your parking charges for a year as well as discounts and benefits available only to Discovery Pass holders. Visit for more information.


Notes to editors:

1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.

2. The results of the Public Opinion of Forestry survey can be found at

3. Media contact: 0117 372 5107