Forestry Statistics 2007 - Recreation

Public access to woodland

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The Woods for People project has created a UK-wide provisional inventory of accessible woodland.

At present, it does not include woodlands where the only access is on public rights of way. For Scotland, the Land Reform Act gives a right of responsible access to almost all land, but the dataset only includes woods that encourage access. Table 5.11 shows the proportions of woodland with public access (permissive) as identified by the Woods for People database.

The changes between versions (2004 and 2006) are the result of several factors, including the development of the database between versions as areas are updated by land owners; one significant change was a reduction in England and Wales due of the fall in the amount of Walkers Welcome data. A list of land owners who have contributed to the project is available on the Woods for People web site (use link provided below, then click on the 'Contributors List' on the left hand menu).

Table 5.11 Woods for People:  Publicly accessible3 woodland

Year

England

Scotland

   Wales

Northern
Ireland

       UK

per cent of all woodland area

20041

37

57

49

66

49

20062

32

58

39

64

46

Not National Statistics.

Source: Woods for People (Woodland Trust)

Notes:

1. The 2004 data are from version 1 of the Woods for People project; the results presented here (after re-analysis in September 2007) count only areas of woodland within areas of land owned. The higher results originally presented in the 2004 Woodland Trust Spaces for People report, were based in part on total land areas, rather than only woodland areas.

2. The 2006 data are from version 3 of the Woods for People dataset (which has been based on only woodland areas).

3. Accessible woodland is the proportion of total woodland areas defined in 2004 for the Woods for People project; these total woodland areas were not updated in 2006.


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