We carried out research to gather insight into students' use of, attitudes and values towards trees and woodlands on behalf of the Woodland Trust as part of their campaign to develop a Charter for Trees, Woods and People for the UK.
Through an online survey delivered in November 2016, 4500 respondents revealed:
A lack of time (45%) and bad weather (44%) are seen as the main reasons for not visiting woods more often, or at all. Access is also an issue with just over a quarter saying they are prevented due to not having a car (28%) or because woods are too far away (26%).
The main reasons respondents have visited woods in the last year are to go for a walk or run (64%) or to relax and de-stress (54%).
The majority or respondents agree that woods are important places for wildlife (95%) and that they make areas nicer places to live (93%). Respondents are less likely to agree that woods get them involved in local issues (31%).
Respondents are most frequently report looking after or planting trees in their own garden (47%). Just 7% say they take part in a conservation group.
On the whole, respondents recognise the positive effect of trees on health and wellbeing (91%) and also believe they have intrinsic value (90%). Respondents also recognise they can play a role within only 12% saying they can do nothing to help protect the UK’s trees, woods and forests.
Three quarters of respondents report their college / university grounds to have trees present, and over a third (39%) would like to know more about the trees on these grounds. Conservation / wildlife clubs and societies are the most commonly reported activity relating to trees taking place at respondents place of study.