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This evidence review forms part of Work Package 3 under the project ‘Understanding, enabling, and supporting public access to woodlands’ (ETPP-07) funded by Defra’s Nature for Climate Fund and delivered by Forest Research. In line with the work package’s focus on diverse and under-represented groups in woodland access, the review summarises the available economic literature on barriers and enabling factors affecting the ability of specific publics to access woodlands.

Key research gaps are highlighted in order to help orient the future focus and aims of the project. In particular, distance to woodland, income, socioeconomic variables, health and disability are analysed as factors affecting individuals’ frequency of visits to woodlands and willingness to pay (WTP) for woodland recreation. Where they exist, economic evaluations of interventions to overcome such barriers (usually health barriers) are likewise incorporated into the review. The review addresses the following research questions:

  • What are the economic, socio-demographic and health barriers to publics accessing woodlands?
  • What are the effects of these barriers on how often diverse groups visit woodlands and on their WTP for woodland recreation?
  • What is the economic value (and cost-effectiveness) of interventions seeking to overcome such barriers and encourage access to woodlands among specific groups?

Publication type
Literature Review
Publication owner
Forest Research
Assistant Economist
Behavioural Scientist
profile picture for FR staff member Jen Clements

Related research


Understanding and supporting public access to woodlands

This research project will gather evidence to better understand, enable and support public access to woodlands in England. There are currently evidence gaps in meeting the aims of the England Tree Action Plan and the forthcoming Woodland Access Implementation Plan. This research will contribute directly to the delivery and implementation of the plans.

Status current