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Public Opinion of Forestry – tree health

Forest Research has conducted similar surveys of public attitudes to forestry and forestry-related issues every two years since 1995. The most recent surveys were conducted in 2019 (with separate surveys in Wales, Northern Ireland and across the UK as a whole) and in 2017 (in Scotland). Full results are available within the Public Opinion of Forestry reports available on our website at www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/statistics/statistics-by-topic/public-opinion-of-forestry/.

Respondents to the UK survey in 2019 were asked their views on a range of statements relating to tree health. The highest level of agreement was seen with the statement “action should be taken by authorities and woodland managers to protect trees from damaging pests and disease”, with 85% of UK respondents agreeing (agree or strongly agree) (Figure 5.2 and Table 5.2). This compares with only 23% agreeing with the statements “there is very little that anyone can do to prevent the spread of damaging tree pests and diseases”.

Figure 5.2 Public opinion on tree health

Fig 5.2v3.png

Source: UK Public Opinion of Forestry Survey 2019.  Base: 2,000 UK respondents.

Notes:

1.  The range of uncertainty around any result should be no more than ±3.2%.

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics.  For further information see the Sources chapter.

Table 5.2 Public opinoin on tree health 2015 – 2019

  2015 2017 2019
Percent of respondents who agree or strongly agree
Action should be taken by authorities and woodland managers to protect trees from damaging pests and diseases 75 85 85
Everyone should take action when visiting woodlands to help prevent the spread of damaging tree pests and diseases 57 74 74
I would be willing to look out for and report sightings of pests and diseases on trees, if appropriate information and advice was available to me 55 65 65
If I buy an imported tree, it is more likely to carry tree pests and diseases than a tree grown in the UK 42 48 46
I am aware that possible tree pests and diseases can be reported using the Tree Alert app or website 22 23 25
There is very little that anyone can do to prevent the spread of damaging tree pests and diseases 21 23 23

Source: UK Public Opinion of Forestry Surveys.

Note:

1.  Figures are based on all respondents: weighted totals = 2015 (1,804), 2017 (2,113), 2019 (2,174).

2.  The range of uncertainty around any result should be no more than ±3.5% in any of the years shown.  To compare results over time, a difference of at least 5 percentage points is required to indicate that there is a significant difference.

Additional resources

Sources chapter: Environment

Sources chapter: Public Opinion of Forestry

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