More trees, less involvement

The results of the 2019 Public Opinion of Forestry report are out – 95% of people (in their UK wide survey) think that forests and woodlands are important to the public. This is great news – and not really that much of a shock (after all, who is going to say ‘no’ when asked if forests/woodlands are a good thing…)

But the results also paint a sad picture – 88% of people think more trees need to be planted but a staggering 97% of people had absolutely no involvement in woodland groups, voluntary work (in woodlands), organizing tree plantings or consultations about woodlands. Obviously everyone loves trees but subconsciously assumes they’re someone else’s problem…

text saying 88% of people want more trees, but 97% don

Who owns your woodlands?

36% didn’t know who owns the woodlands they visit, which we can sadly relate to as we face this problem a lot. A lot of people assume that our 12 woodland sites are run by the local authorities rather than us (a small charity). Forgive me for making assumptions but of the 12% surveyed who say the woodlands they use are ‘owned by the local authority’ – I bet some of them aren’t.

Worryingly, 29% of people think that trees should never be felled in any circumstances, even if replaced, and 26% think that we should ‘let nature should take its course’ and do nothing to manage woodlands. Managing woodlands is incredibly important for their own survival, as much as anything else – felling ‘weaker’ trees gives the others room to grow, and let’s light hit the woodland floor for other plants, obviously having a knock on effect for wildlife. Contrary to popular belief, woods can’t just look after themselves – over hundreds of years the plants and wildlife of woodlands have become accustomed to being managed so without it, they wouldn’t thrive.

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You want more trees 

The main thing to take from the results is that the majority of people like trees and want more of them – no matter how they think that will magically happen without any involvement from them. It’s our job to keep showing people how much better life is with trees – we’ve planted 1.5 million already, and we’ll be planting at our 13th woodland from next year (hopefully) so we’re trying our best to get the word to spread about the good work we do. The Forest of Marston Vale is a Community Forest – it’s there for the people who know that it’s run by a charity just as much as it’s there for those who don’t – it’s for everyone, and it’s making the area a way better place to live, work and play.

Help us to plant more trees by donating whatever you can – any amount can help us plant more trees and manage our existing woodlands:

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