This summer local people and visitors will have a chance to say what they think about their experience of spending time in the woodlands of Wales.
Visitors to the forests and woodlands that Forestry Commission Wales manages on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government will be asked to spend a few minutes completing a questionnaire to give their views on their visit.
The visitor survey aims to find out what people like about the woodlands and what they feel could be improved.
It will take place at popular locations across Wales including Coed y Brenin, near Dolgellau and Newborough Forest. The views of visitors to sites that are less busy will also be sought.
The newly refurbished visitor centre at Garwnant, near Merthyr Tydfil is one of the locations that will be surveyed this summer. Visitor Centre Manager Sam Detheridge said, "People can gain so many benefits from visiting woodlands – as well as offering opportunities for lots of recreation activities they provide a stimulating outdoor learning environment for people of all ages.
"It’s important that we find out what people think of the time they spend in the woodlands we manage so that we can ensure future visitors have a great experience."
Similar surveys are being carried out at Forestry Commission sites in England – a total of 50 sites will be surveyed over three years – and the data will be collected in a format that will allow easy comparison of information from each year’s survey.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Forestry Commission Wales sites that will be surveyed this summer
High usage sites: Coed Y Brenin, Newborough, Garwnant
Medium usage sites: Hafren, Gwydyr, Wye Forest Parc, Moel Famau
Low usage sites: Gethin, Llan Wynno, Cwm Saebren (all in the Heads of the Valleys area)
Forestry Commission Wales
About 14% of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
Forestry Commission Wales provides advice on forestry policy to the Minister responsible for forestry. It provides grant aid to the private sector and regulates forestry by issuing felling licences.
Forestry Commission Wales is also part of Forestry Commission GB and contributes to the international forestry agenda.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Press office contact: Mary Galliers, email@example.com, 0300 068 0057.