Needs of the local population related to development of forests for recreational purposes: example of south-eastern Poland T. (2016): Needs of the local population related to development of forests for recreational purposes: example of south-eastern Poland. J. For. Sci., 62: 35-40.
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Independent assessments of the local community’s needs for recreational development of forests provide important information for forestry and forest administrations. The study was designed to identify the needs for recreational forest development expressed by residents of a selected European region in which forests constitute a dominating component of landscape and play an important role in the community’s life. Additionally, the relationship between these preferences and the place of residence was examined. The author carried out the study in south-eastern Poland. The needs were identified by a survey conducted among 439 adults (≥ 18 years). There are statistically significant differences in the preferences related to recreational forest development depending on the place of residence: the larger the city, the greater the demand for forests adapted to recreational purposes. These are favoured as a destination for leisure by 15% of those living in rural areas, every fifth resident of small towns, 31% and 36% of those inhabiting medium-sized and large cities, respectively. The vast majority of the respondents, 62%, agree that forests designated for leisure should be provided with litter bins. A large group pointed out the need for trails designed for varied purposes – 52% of the respondents in total. The present findings suggest that it is necessary to intensify and diversify works aimed at recreational forest development. Some forests designated for recreation should be developed only discreetly, while those close to large cities should be provided with a wider range of amenities.
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