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National survey shows greater awareness of The National Forest

Wednesday, 6th February 2013

A recent national survey shows there has been a significant increase in awareness of The National Forest.

A random sample of over 2,000 people across the country was interviewed in November 2012, establishing current levels of awareness of The National Forest to measure against a comparable study conducted in 2006.

Over 43% said they were aware of The National Forest. This is a significant increase on the 36% in the 2006 study.

Awareness was higher than average amongst those aged 35 and over, and in the East and West Midlands (where the Forest is situated). Awareness was lowest amongst younger age groups, but even this had increased compared to 2006 results.

The Forest is increasingly associated with regeneration in people’s minds. It is seen as environmentally-friendly, and continues to be strongly linked with conservation. Many young people know of the Forest through school visits and environmental education work: over 375,000 children have planted trees, hunted for mini beasts, learnt tree identification, built shelters, and been involved in other environmental activities at Rosliston Forestry Centre or Conkers since the Forest began.

Television and word of mouth were two important means by which people got to know about the Forest.

Sophie Churchill OBE, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company, established by Government to facilitate the creation of The National Forest, said: “If you compare The National Forest with the country’s really well-known and beautiful holiday areas, like the New Forest, it is so very much younger than them: The National Forest is really still in its infancy and I am very heartened that, according to this survey, almost one in two people whom you might meet on a train would have heard of it. We now have a big job to make sure more people know of The National Forest, preferably through hearing nice things and then visiting and having a wonderful time.”