Current issue: 53(4)
The environmental preferences of recreationists were studied at the forest stand level in this study. The hypothesis which has been drawn up on the basis of the literature has been studied by attempting to elucidate the environmental preferences of groups using two recreation areas owned by the City of Helsinki using interviews and questionnaires. The material consisted of 1,323 interviews supplemented by questionnaires.
The replies to the questionnaires showed that recreationists consider birch and Scots pine to be more beautiful than Norway spruce, and stands made up of several tree species to be more beautiful than stands of single tree species. They also consider mature stands to be more beautiful than young stands.
During the interviews, the attention of the recreationists was directed at the view formed by the interview stand. The scenic preferences for the stands were measured using adjectives which the interviewee was asked to use in describing his or her impression of the view which was pointed out. First of all, the results clearly indicated that from the point of view of the scenic value of the stand, the way in which the stand is organised to form a scenic aspect or a stand view is more important than its ecological structure. However, it is obvious that stands containing large sized trees in particular are in many ways more preferred than stands which are younger in their development stage. This should therefore be the case when changes in the stand view resulting from management measures are insignificant or difficult to see. The main tree species in the stand does not seem to have from the point of view of scenic preference as much significance as would have been expected judging by the questionnaire material.
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