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Freiburg, Germany

Ensinger K.,Albert Ludwige Univeraitat | Wurster M.,Albert Ludwige Univeraitat | Selter A.,Albert Ludwige Univeraitat | Jenne M.,Albert Ludwige Univeraitat | And 2 more authors.
Allgemeine Forst- und Jagdzeitung | Year: 2013

In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the importance of forests as a resource for rccrcation, this study uses a mixed methods approach including qualitative and quantitative methods. The data consist of 2 telephone surveys (respectively n = 2000) and 23 qualitative interviews. All data were collected in Baden-Wttrt- temberg in the years 2009 and 2010. On the one hand, the study updates existing data of the use of the forests of Baden-Wurttemberg for recreation. For instance, references for tho spatial extension can be deviated from this. Forests of the Land Baden-Wurttemberg are considered to be a place of recovery and are used for recreation. One of the most obvious finding to emerge from this study is that particularly forests within walking distance play a prominent role for recovery (cf. fig. 2). The evidence from this survey suggests that persons share different notions and concepts of recreation depending on their current life situation. On the other hand, current findings of the qualitative data add not only substantially to our understanding of the individual perceptions and practices, but also illustrate what makes the forest a "different world" and where recreation processes can take place. This paper has given an account of and the reasons for the widespread use of the complimentary data. The results of this research support the idea that the potential for recreation during a forest visit depends on what the respective visitor seeks "quiet" from. The Forest is a special place to almost all interviewees ("immersing into another world"). Going to the forest is usually portrayed as a movement not towards the forest, but away from something - it offers a refuge from everyday life. Psychological detachment, which is inevitable for a successful rccrcation (cf. fig. 1), can be experienced in different modalities within forests: detachment experienced as silence - but also as noisy activity as idleness - but also as strenuous cxercise. Interestingly, children and adolescents know their parents' concept of forests as recreation areas and anticipate it for their own future life ("when I've grown older..."). Even though adolescents dissociate themselves from visits of the forest, there is still a shared perception of the forest as a resource for recreation across age differences that are meaningful throughout all phases of life. The present study, however, makes several noteworthy contributions to the variety of meanings ascribed to recreation and "detachment* (cf. fig. 1). lb adequately face society's complex demands of recreation - as intended by the legislative authority the potential of forests as recreational areas ought to be optimized through management tools and guidelines. Source

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