Brits are missing out on the great outdoors

New research released today by home furnishing experts IKEA in association with the Woodland Trust, reveals that families across the UK are missing out on enjoying their local woodland, as they don’t know where to find it or prefer to take part in other activities.

Out of the 2,000 parents questioned, 1 in 5 (20%) say they don’t spend time with their family in the local woodland as they don’t know where to find it, and a third (33%) say they don’t have any woodland near them to visit. These worrying findings are supported by recent statistics from the Woodland Trust, which show the UK is one of the least wooded countries with only a 13% covering compared to a European average of 44%.

When it comes to spending time together, the activity families most enjoy is hitting the beach (28%) closely followed by visiting the local woodland or park (24%). 18% are happiest at a local theme park and a surprising 10% prefer to stay indoors watching TV or playing computer games. 27% of parents also admit their kids spend less than two hours a week playing outside and a staggering 5% say their kids spend no time at all playing outside of the home.

Despite this, half (50%) of parents think it is very important for their kids to get out of the house to play and 49% would like to see more woodland in the UK to enjoy with their family. 61% would be keen to get involved in tree plantinginitiatives in their local area and 31% know of a local area that could be improved by a woodland planting scheme.

As part of an on-going commitment to support local communities and to help create more woodland for the nation to enjoy, IKEA has been supporting the Woodland Trust since 2007 through the ‘IKEA FAMILY Foot of Forest campaign.’ Every time an IKEA FAMILY member swiped their FAMILY card in-store IKEA donated 10p to the Woodland Trust to create a ‘foot of forest’ This campaign raised over £1.35 million for the Woodland Trust and has helped tocreate over 309 acres of woodland in the UK – equivalent to the size of the Olympic Village.

IKEA has now committed tosupport the Woodland Trust for another two years with a new ‘Foot of Forest in your local community’ campaign, whereby IKEA FAMILY members will activate a contribution towards a total donation of £500,000 from IKEA with every swipe of their membership card. IKEA also aim to raise an additional £500,000 through customer contributions at the checkouts of all IKEA stores, where customers will be invited to donate a £1 for a tree to be planted by a community group in the UK. Money raised from both schemes will go towards the Woodland Trust’s ‘Trees for the Community’ scheme.

Janette Wickens from the Woodland Trust says: “As well as the environmental and ecological benefits that woodland provide, people also have a lot to gain from visiting their local woodland. A walk in the woods can give anyone a feeling of peace and tranquility and most of us have fond childhood memories of playing on or around trees. With the support from IKEA we are able to plant more woodland across the UK and ensure that future generations will be able to reap these benefits too”.

Charlie Browne, Sustainability Manager at IKEA, says, “We are really pleased to announce our continued support of the Woodland Trust through the Foot of Forest campaign. IKEA FAMILY members can help by swiping their FAMILY cards in store and everyone else can donate the value of a tree to the ‘Trees for the Community’ scheme by simply donating £1 in store with their shopping. With our valued customer support our ambition is to help plant over 1 million trees in the UK by 2013.”

To encourage more people to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, IKEA has also teamed up with the Woodland Trust to provide information on great activities to enjoy in your local woodland. Come along to your local IKEA store to find our more information on what’s happening in your local area.

IKEA will be encouraging customers to consider taking part in the Woodland Trust’s ‘Trees for the Communitys’ scheme by applying for a free tree pack for their own local community groups at: woodlandtrust.org.uk/ikeacommunitytrees

For more information on the IKEA FAMILY Foot of Forest Campaign visit http://ikea.co.uk

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