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Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey

The Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey (WORS) measures participation in outdoor recreation by adults living in Wales, including the associated health and economic benefits. It also covers public attitudes towards biodiversity, along with actions that people take to protect the environment.

Survey content

The Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey (WORS) provides information on participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, from climbing to picnics, which take place in all areas from local parks to mountains and the sea. It also covers people’s attitudes towards biodiversity and details any actions they might have taken to help protect the environment.

It is the largest survey of public engagement with the environment by people living in Wales, with over 6000 people interviewed over a full 12 month period. It includes people from all ages and backgrounds, who live in both the countryside and in towns. Interviews are conducted on every day of the week, and all weeks of the year, so take account of any season differences in participation.

The survey provides detailed results on:

  • overall levels of participation in informal outdoor recreation
  • places visited on land and water
  • types of activities
  • levels of physical activity
  • economic expenditure
  • motivations for using the outdoors
  • barriers to visiting the outdoors
  • future demand for outdoor recreation
  • attitudes towards biodiversity
  • pro-environmental behaviours

Key dates

The survey is undertaken every three years, starting in 2008 followed by 2011 and 2014.

The first results and data tables from the 2014 survey were published on 16 June 2015, with the Full Report and Technical Report published on 16 July 2015.

Additional reports and analysis will be published in 2016.

Official statistics

The Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey is classified as ‘Official Statistics’ (under the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007) and is required to comply with the Code of Practice. The Code covers a number of Principles and Protocols, including those relating to the release of statistics.

In complying with the Code of Practice, early access is allowed to a senior officials and ministers for the purposes of comment prior to public release. Pre-release access to the 2014 WORS data will be given to the following individuals:

  • John Watkins: Head of Landscape and Outdoor Recreation, Welsh Government
  • Catrin Dellar: Senior Access and Outdoor Recreation Officer, Welsh Government
  • Emyr Roberts: Chief Executive, Natural Resources Wales
  • Mike Evans: Head of Evidence, Knowledge and Advice, Natural Resources Wales

Publications: reports and data on link