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What can the forestry sector do to effect behavioural change?


The UK government is particularly interested in behavioural research and techniques for behavioural change to support its initiatives in health, travel, energy and the environment. Forest Research reviewed academic research, policy documents and evaluations of behaviour-focused interventions. The findings illustrate how behavioural approaches might be applied within the forestry sector.

Key findings

  • Policy context: behavioural approaches are now part of a broader policy mix, especially by central government, alongside more traditional ‘carrot and stick’ measures
  • Theories and models: despite some conflict between different conceptual models of behaviour and behavioural change, the forestry sector can use these models to inform initiatives and design policies
  • Key principles: evaluations of behavioural interventions reveal some key ‘principles’ that forestry policies and management should follow, supported with further testing and development
  • Explicit behavioural change interventions: sustainable forest management touches on many aspects of behavioural change, but the sector should design interventions with explicit reference to theories and conceptual frameworks of behavioural change, for example through a framework for applied research in this area

Reports and presentations

Review reports:

Funders and partners

Commissioned and funded by the Forestry Commission.


The review was conducted during 2011 and 2012.


Jake Morris

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