13 Jul 2023
Public want to see more trees to tackle climate change
A new survey published today demonstrates high support for forestry with 80% agreeing that a lot more trees should be planted to tackle climate change.
Four fifths (81%) of those who took part in the survey also agreed that there was at least one benefit from forestry worth supporting with public money.
Over half cited that they would like to see public funds in forestry going towards woodlands that provide wildlife habitats and help to tackle climate change.
Around 55% said they would like to see more woodland in their own area and only 3% said they would not like to see more trees in their locality.
Commenting on the results, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:
“It is encouraging to see that the survey highlights that there is strong support for planting trees for climate change and wildlife as these are the two of the biggest crises that we face.
“Scotland has the most ambitious woodland expansion programme in the UK but we are undertaking this in a careful and considered way, with the aim of getting the right tree in the right place.
“It is good that people see the benefit of using public money for forestry as it provides multiple benefits and supports rural economies. We all need to build on this public support and continue to create forests and woodlands that provide environmental, economic and social benefits for all.”
The results are contained within the Public Opinion of Forestry survey which is carried out every two years by the Forest Research agency. Over a 1,000 people across Scotland took part in the survey.
Some other key findings include:
- Over three quarters (77%) of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that ‘trees are good because they remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in wood’;
- over four fifths (82%) of respondents had visited forests or woodlands in the last 12 months with walking being by far the most popular activity.
- around 80% said that they can relax and de-stress in woodland, with 71% saying they can exercise and keep fit in woodland spaces;
- on tree health, 65% agreed or strongly agreed that ‘everyone should take action when visiting woodlands to help prevent the spread of damaging tree pests or diseases; and
- 40% agreed that public money should be spent on forestry if it supports the economy in rural areas.