Sources: Public Opinion of Forestry
The Forestry Commission has conducted similar surveys of public attitudes to forestry and forestry-related issues every two years since 1995. Three separate surveys were undertaken in 2011; in Scotland, Wales and across the UK as a whole. A survey for Northern Ireland was most recently carried out in 2010.
Some questions were asked in all of the surveys conducted in 2011/2010 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.
Data Sources and Methodology
The survey results were obtained by placing questions in omnibus surveys run by private market research companies. The four surveys undertaken in 2011/2010 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 of the surveys use quota sampling to ensure that the sample selected is representative of the population, and results are weighted to produce estimates for the population as a whole.
Further information on the methodologies used for each survey are provided in the individual survey reports, available at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-5zyl9w
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 ±3.2%, while for questions asked to 1,000 respondents, the corresponding range of uncertainty should be no more than ± 4.6%.
Results from the Public Opinion of Forestry (POF) Surveys were previously released in the separate POF reports for each country. The statistics are not normally revised.
The Forestry Commission's revisions policy sets out how revisions and errors are dealt with and can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/FCrevisions.pdf/$FILE/FCrevisions.pdf
Reports for UK and England (using a subset of the UK data set), for Scotland and for Wales were published on 28 July 2011, along with the full sets of data tables.
A summary report for Northern Ireland was published on 17 March 2010, along with the full set of data tables.
Reports and data tables (including results for previous surveys) are available at www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-5zyl9w
The next Public Opinion of Forestry survey is expected to run in early 2013, with result available in summer 2013.
"Forestry Statistics 2013" and "Forestry Facts & Figures 2013" will be released on 26 September 2013.