This chapter contains statistics on:
- the number and profile of visits to woodlands; and
- public access to woodland.
Geographical coverage for recreation statistics varies. Estimates are presented at country level and, where possible, UK or GB totals are included. Further information on the data sources and methodology used to compile the figures is provided in the Sources chapter.
Most of the statistics presented in this chapter have been previously released by other organisations. The latest year figures for day visitors to Forest Service sites in Northern Ireland and for Woods for People are published for the first time in this release. Figures for earlier years have not been revised from those previously published. For further details on revisions, see the Recreation section of the Sources chapter.
A copy of all recreation tables is available to download as an Excel spreadsheet from the Tables for Download page.
The main findings are:
- There were an estimated 357 million visits to woodland in England in 2012-13. Walking with a dog was the most commonly reported activity, undertaken on around two thirds of visits in England. (Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment 2012-13)
- There were an estimated 62 milllion visits to woodland in Scotland in 2012. Walking was the main activity undertaken on around four fifths of visits in Scotland. (Scottish Recreation Survey 2012)
- There were an estimated 86 million visits to woodland in Wales in 2011. Walking was the main activity undertaken on around two thirds of visits in Wales. (Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey 2011)
- Around two thirds of the UK population have visited woodland in the last few years. (UK Public Opinion of Forestry Survey 2013).
- Around 4.3 million visits are made annually to Welsh Government woodlands in Wales and around 8.2 million visits are made annually to Forestry Commission Scotland woodlands. (All Forests Surveys)
- Around 340 thousand people visited Forest Service sites where a charge is made in Northern Ireland in 2012-13.
- Around one half (49%) of the UK woodland area was estimated to be publicly accessible in 2012. (Woods for People)