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. In previous years separate surveys for Northern Ireland were also carried out.
Some questions were asked in all three of the surveys conducted in 2009 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 2009 achieved representative samples of around:
- 2,000 adults across the UK
- 1,000 adults across Scotland
- 1,000 adults across Wales
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.
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 will be published in October 2009.