Swiss use and appreciate their forests

The Swiss often visit forests – which cover one third of the country – and enjoy the use of them, according to a survey.

This content was published on February 17, 2012 - 11:06 and agencies

People appreciate the benefits of forests for society, and forest protection is well anchored among the population, it was found.

These are the main results of the Forest Monitoring socio-cultural survey carried out by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, and presented on Friday. It has been surveying the attitudes of the population towards forest and wood-related topics since 1997. The results, from a study of around 3,000 people, help form forest policy.

In all, 95 per cent of those asked said they found frequent visits to the woods relaxing. "People go into the woods because they want to experience nature," said WSL deputy director Christoph Hegg.

Many of those polled indicated that they appreciated the role the forests played in helping to keep the air clean, producing wood and preserving biodiversity.

A majority said that forests should receive more financial support, such as through grants. This is in line with forest policy, said Federal Environment Office deputy director Andreas Götz.

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