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The English Tree Planting Programme will contribute to the Government’s commitment to increase tree planting to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025. Alongside environmental and economic benefits, there will be social benefits associated with this. Therefore, this planting programme provides a valuable opportunity to assess public attitudes to new planting and the social benefits associated with it, including how this may vary across diverse populations. It is also an opportunity to help us better understand why some people can’t or don’t benefit from woodland creation and expansion and what we can do about it.
This research will pilot a longitudinal social research approach. This is research which assesses how attitudes, benefits and barriers change over time in relation to new tree planting. We will look at this from an individual and a community perspective.
RO1. Identify and develop connections with forest/woodland sites and communities to study over time;
RO2. Explore attitudes, motivations, actions, barriers and benefits linked to new woodland creation and expansion (new planting) for diverse communities.
RO3. Develop and test a proof-of-concept* for longitudinal research to study how attitudes, motivations, actions, barriers and benefits for communities local to new planting change over time.
*proof-of-concept refers to establishing through testing whether such longitudinal research is feasible, what it would contribute, and how it could be achieved.
We have conducted expert interviews with staff from the case study sites. We are now recruiting community members at the case study sites for interviews and are drafting questions for the survey.
This project will last approximately 2 years and is expected to finish in March 2025.
Forest research are leading this novel project, with assistance from the partners listed below.
Funding and partners
This project is funded by Defra as part of the Nature Climate Fund. We are also working with the Forest of Marston Vale and The National Forest as case study sites. Other partners on the advisory group include: the Forestry Commission, Forestry England, The Woodland Trust, Natural England, University of Exeter, Scottish Forestry, and the Welsh Government.
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