Student perceptions of trees, woods and people

NUS 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.

To read the full research report, click here.

Click here to find out more about the Charter for Trees, Woods and People.