Sources: Public Opinion of Forestry
The Forestry Commission has conducted similar biennial surveys of public attitudes to forestry and forestry-related issues since 1995. Four separate surveys were undertaken in 2007; in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and across the UK as a whole.
Some questions were asked in all four of the surveys conducted in 2007 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 on omnibus surveys run by private market research companies. The four surveys undertaken in 2007 achieved representative samples of around:
- 4,000 adults across the UK
- 1,000 adults across Scotland
- 950 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 4,000, the range of uncertainty around any result should be no more than ± 2.3%, 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, Wales and Northern Ireland were published in June 2007.
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 November 2007.