Forestry Statistics 2009 - Recreation

Public access to woodland

previous | next  

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 6.13 shows the proportions of woodland with public access (permissive) as identified by the Woods for People database.

The changes between versions of the dataset (2004 to 2008) are the result of several factors, including the development of the database between versions as areas are updated by land owners; one significant change has been a reduction in England and Wales as a result of a 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.

Table 6.13 Woods for People: Publicly accessible3 woodland

Year

England

  Wales

Scotland

Northern
Ireland

        UK

per cent of all woodland area

20041

37

49

57

66

49

20062

32

39

58

64

46

20072

3440586447

20082

3440586448

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, 2007 and 2008 data are from versions 3, 4 and 5 of the Woods for People dataset respectively (which are based on only woodland areas).

3. Accessible woodland is the proportion of the total woodland area defined in 2004 for the Woods for People project; the total woodland area was not updated in 2006, 2007 or 2008.

Links to Forestry Statistics 2009

Useful sites