Forestry Commission logo

Forestry Statistics 2013 - Recreation

Visits to woodland - on-site surveys

previous | next  

All Forests surveying was carried out in Scotland across all 15 forest districts1. Due to the scale of this exercise, fieldwork was spread across a three-year period from June 2004 to June 2007, with over 5,000 hours of fieldwork undertaken over 1,158 days, achieving almost 2,700 face to face interviews. The study estimated that around 8.2 million visits are made annually to Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) woodland.

At the national level, the surveyed sites are representative of the range of facilities and activities available in FCS woodland, but this is not always the case at a district level. Approximately one fifth of each district’s forests were included in the survey.

Table 6.9 provides a summary of the key characteristics and results obtained from the Scotland All Forests survey. Around four fifths of visitors to Forestry Commission Scotland woodlands were on a day trip from home. Walking (with or without a dog) was the main activity undertaken by around four fifths of visitors. Around four fifths travelled to the site by car or van and around two fifths travelled more than 15 miles to get to the site. Most visitors were on short trips, with around three fifths spending one hour or less in the forest. Around three fifths of respondents visited the site at least monthly. Around one quarter considered the forest and its facilities to be the only reason for visiting the area and a further two fifths reported that it was very important in their decision to visit. Around two fifths of respondents visited the site alone.

Table 6.9 Woodland visit characteristics - Scotland All Forests Survey

Woodland visit characteristics

2004-2007

per cent of respondents

Type of trip

 

     Day trip

82

     Overnight trip

18

Main activity during visit

 

     Dog walking

50

     Other walking

29

     Cycling

11

Main transport

 

     Car / van

78

     Walked

18

     Cycled

2

Distance travelled (one way)

 

     Less than 6 miles

58

     6 to 15 miles

19

     16 to 25 miles

10

     Over 25 miles

12

Duration of visit (time spent in forest)

 

     Up to 1 hour

59

     Over 1 hour, up to 2 hours

24

     Over 2 hours, up to 3 hours

10

     Over 3 hours

7

Frequency of visit to site of interview

 

     More than once a day

7

     Once a day

13

     1 to 3 times per week

25

     1 to 3 times per month

17

     1 to 3 times per year

17

     Less often

5

     First ever visit

16

Importance of forest and facilities in decision to visit area

 

     Only reason for coming

23

     Very important

40

     Quite important

17

Group composition

 

     Alone

42

     Couples / groups of two

37

     Groups of three or more

21

Source: Scotland All Forests Survey 2004-2007, carried out by TNS.

Notes:

1. One third of FC forest districts were surveyed each year, although by the end of the project, the Kincardine and Buchan forest districts had been combined to form one forest district named Aberdeenshire.

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics

 

Links to Forestry Statistics 2013