Sources: Public Opinion of Forestry
The Forestry Commission has conducted similar biennial surveys of public attitudes to forestry and forestry-related issues since 1995. Three separate surveys were undertaken in 2009; in Scotland, Wales and across the UK as a whole. A survey for Northern Ireland was carried out in 2010.
Some questions were asked in all of the surveys conducted in 2009/2010 and in the surveys undertaken in earlier years, but an increasing number are survey specific. Questions are asked on a variety of topics including, public awareness of forestry, woodland-based recreation and community involvement, woodfuel and the relationship between forestry and climate change.
The survey results were obtained by placing questions in omnibus surveys run by private market research companies. The four surveys undertaken in 2009/2010 achieved representative samples of around:
- 2,000 adults across the UK
- 1,000 adults across Scotland
- 1,000 adults across Wales
- 1,000 adults across Northern Ireland
All results are subject to the effects of chance in sampling, so a range of uncertainty (confidence interval) is associated with results from the surveys. The confidence intervals take into account the effect of clustering, weighting and stratification in the survey designs. For questions asked to the whole UK sample of 2,000, the range of uncertainty around any result should be no more than ±3.3%, while for questions asked to 1,000 respondents, the corresponding range of uncertainty should be no more than ± 4.6%.
Preliminary reports for England (using a subset of the UK data set), Scotland and Wales were published in June 2009, along with the full sets of data tables.
Final reports giving more in-depth information on the specific questions asked in each country, including breakdowns by geographic regions, socio-demographic variables (e.g. gender, age, health, social class), deprivation indices and rural urban categorisations were published in October 2009.
A summary report for Northern Ireland was published in March 2010, along with the full set of data tables.