We all love a walk in woodlands
A new study by Forestry Commission Scotland reveal that more than nine million woodland visits are made every year. This amazing number equates to two visits per person living in Scotland annually.
The great news is that many more people are making use of Scotland’s fabulous woodlands for a range of activities, including cycling and walking. Indeed almost three-quarters of visits to Forestry Commission land is for walking.
Some eight per cent of all visits are by cyclists, while the rest enjoy woodlands for sightseeing, wildlife and picnics, according to the All Forests Survey 2.
Scotland's forests are also good news for local economies, with 77 per cent of people spending some money during their trip.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse welcomed the survey figures. He said: "Forestry Commission Scotland is the largest provider of outdoor recreation in the country with hundreds of popular woodland walks, world-class biking trails and welcoming visitor centres.
“It is very positive news that we are seeing so many people visiting the National Forest Estate and taking the opportunity to enjoy Scotland's outstanding natural environment.
“The Scottish Government is keen to capitalise on this success by widening out better access to our woodlands and providing a greater range of ways for people to enjoy them."
The survey also showed that 77 per cent of people visiting Scotland’s woodlands are Scottish, while 15 per cent are from elsewhere in the UK and eight per cent come from abroad.
Indulge in some woodlands love
What is it that people like about forests? A study at a Glasgow University found that good mental health comes from spending time outdoors and especially in green and wooded places.
Woodland areas are often wonderfully atmospheric and also home to myriad wildlife. Spending time among trees at any time of the year is a delightful experience, from kicking up crunchy fallen leaves in winter, to enjoying the wonderful colours of autumnal trees, to relaxing in the cool interior of shady woodlands in summer.
Our pick of five great holidays with forest walks:
Walking holidays in the Black Forest
Whisky and woodlands in the Spey Valley
Whisky and Caledonian Pines in the Cairngorms
The Stevenson's Trail
in France enjoys a fabulous remote landscape including wooded hillsides of dark green pines.
Experience the rich, green alpine scenery of the Bernese Oberland on the Grindelwald Trail