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Visits to woodland – household surveys

The information shown below in Table 6.1 has been obtained from the following general population household surveys.

  • UK Day Visits Surveys (1994, 1996, 1998)
  • GB Day Visits Survey (2002/3)
  • Scottish Recreation Survey (2004 to 2012)
  • England Leisure Visits Survey (2005)
  • Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey (2008, 2011, 2014)
  • Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (England, 2009-10 onwards)
  • Scotland’s People and Nature Survey (2013)

It is likely that differences in survey design and methodology have contributed to a considerable proportion of the differences in results between these surveys. The figures in Table 6.1 should not be interpreted as time trends but instead as separate results from each survey. Further information on the differences between surveys is provided in the Recreation section of the Sources chapter.

In common with all sample based surveys, the results from each survey are subject to the effects of chance, depending on the particular survey method used and the sample achieved, thus confidence limits apply to all results from these surveys.

Results from the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment 2015-16 estimate a total of 446 million visits to woodlands in England (Table 6.1). This is not significantly different from the 2014-15 figure.

The Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey 2014 estimates a total of 68 million visits to woodlands by Welsh residents. This is a statistically significant decrease from the estimated total of 86 million in 2011, but similar to the 2008 estimate (64 million).

Scotland’s People and Nature Survey 2013 reports an estimated total of 90 million visits to woodlands in Scotland. This is a statistically significant increase from the 2012 estimate of 62 million visits from the Scottish Recreation Survey. This increase is partly the result of applying a new population estimate in the calculation of total visits for 2013.

Table 6.1 Number of visits to woodland

Year Journey starting point   
  England Wales Scotland GB
million visits
1994 273 12 18 303
1996 308 11 26 346
1998 321 11 22 355
2002 222 12 18 252
2004 .. .. 70 ..
2005 170 .. 62 ..
2006 .. .. 76 ..
2007 .. .. 72 ..
2008 .. 64 62 ..
2009 317 .. 57 ..
2010 326 .. 63 ..
2011 358 86 65 ..
2012 357 .. 62 ..
2013 378 .. 90 ..
2014 417 68 .. ..
2015 446 .. .. ..

     

Sources:

1994, 1996, 1998: UK Day Visit Surveys, carried out by National Centre for Social Research (not available online);

2002: GB Day Visits Survey 2002-03, carried out by TNS Travel & Tourism;

England 2005: England Leisure Visits Survey (ELVS), carried out by Research International;

England 2009 on: Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE), carried out by TNS;

Wales 2008, 2011, 2014: Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey carried out by IPSOS-MORI (2008) and by TNS (2011, 2014);

Scotland 2004 – 2012: Scottish Recreation Survey (ScRS), carried out by TNS;

Scotland 2013: Scotland’s People and Nature Survey (SPANs), carried out by TNS.

Notes:

1. The UK and GB Day Visits Surveys collected data about day trips from home, for all countries of GB. The 1994, 1996 and 1998 surveys covered calendar years; the 2002-03 survey covered a 12-month period starting in March 2002.

2. ELVS and MENE covered trips taken in England, including those from holiday bases, by respondents living in England. ELVS ran for 12 months from February 2005. MENE results relate to 12 month periods from March to February.

3. The Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey totals shown are for trips with woodland as the main destination.

4. The Scottish Recreation Survey ran from July 2003 until December 2012. It was replaced by Scotland’s People and Nature Survey that ran from March 2013 to February 2014. Both surveys covered visits to the outdoors for leisure and recreation in Scotland by people living in Scotland. The total shown is for all trips that included a visit to woodland.

5. In each survey, visits to overseas destinations are excluded.

.. Denotes data not available.

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics

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