by RW Coles, SC Bussey
Landscape and Urban Planning 52:181-1882000
Surveys, interviews, and focus groups were used to determine what people value in urban woodlands. The structure of the woodland (e.g., size, age, species mix), visitors’ patterns of use, and their perceptions and emotions with regard to woodlands were the focus. Results showed that respondents highly valued local woodlands, but the features that were most important to visitors often did not match the values of urban forestry professionals. Public users valued nearness to home (within 5-10 min walk), a size large enough to create a woodland environment (at least 2 ha), and an open structure. They were not concerned with species composition or the “authenticness” of the nature. The woodlands were a part of the urban fabric and a part of people’s everyday lives. Forestry professionals, in contrast, did not value these social criteria, instead placing importance only on nature conservation criteria.