National Survey for Wales

Each year, a representative sample of over 10,000 people across Wales take part face-to-face in the National Survey. The results are used by the Welsh Government and sponsored bodies to help make Wales a better place to live. It includes people from all ages and backgrounds, who live in both the countryside and in towns.

NRW is a partner in the National Survey, and is publishing statistical releases from the Survey on Outdoor Recreation (replacing the old Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey), and on attitudes to and perception of flood risk, climate change and biodiversity.

The Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey (WORS) measured participation in outdoor recreation by adults living in Wales, including the associated health and economic benefits. It also covered public attitudes towards biodiversity, along with actions that people take to protect the environment. The new National Survey for Wales incorporates elements that were previously found in WORS. As the new National Survey is face-to-face, longer, and with a larger sample size there are discontinuities between these results and those from WORS. They should not be compared directly.

Survey content

The Outdoor Recreation section of the National Survey for Wales 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.

The Outdoor Recreation survey section 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

The Flood Risk section will provide detailed results on:

  • levels of concern about flooding to people’s homes, local areas and other parts of Wales
  • who people in Wales would contact for advice on flooding
  • whether people have checked, or think they should check, if their property is at risk

The Biodiversity section will examine:

  • whether change in biodiversity has been perceived
  • whether further change is expected
  • level of concern about changes to biodiversity

The Climate Change section will examine:

  • Level of concern about climate change
  • Belief in climate change
  • Opinions about the causes of climate change

Key dates

The survey is undertaken every two years, starting in 2016. Interviews occur throughout the year.

The first results and data tables from the 2016 National Survey were published by Welsh Government in Summer 2017. The Outdoor Recreation bulletin was published on 3 October 2017 by NRW.

The Flood Risk Awareness section will be published on the 9 of November 2017, the Public Perceptions of Climate Change section on the 5 of December 2017, and the Attitudes to Biodiversity section in January 2018.

Official statistics

The National Survey Key Facts for Policy and Practice series is classified as Official Statistics (under the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007) and is required to comply with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. 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 may be allowed to senior officials and ministers for the purposes of briefing prior to public release. Pre-release access to the Outdoor Recreation section will be given to the holders of the following posts:

  • Executive Director of Evidence, Policy and Permitting, NRW
  • Head of Evidence and Knowledge, NRW​

Publications: reports and data

National Survey for Wales 2016-17 Key Facts for Policy and Practice Bulletin: Outdoor Recreation

Notice of correction, 30 April 2018. An error in a variable has been identified, leading to corrections on pp1 of the Outdoor Recreation bulletin, in the ‘Who Participates in Outdoor Recreation?’ section. This corrected version supersedes the original. Stakeholders have been notified of this correction.

National Survey for Wales 2016-17 Key Facts for Policy and Practice Bulletin: Attitudes to Flood Risk

National Survey for Wales 2016-17 Key Facts for Policy and Practice Bulletin: Perceptions of Climate Change

Notice of correction, 9 January 2018. On page 3 of the climate change bulletin, due to a typo the text mistakenly states that 20% of women were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ concerned about climate change. The correct figure is 70%. This has been corrected in the publication; the version now online supersedes the original.

National Survey for Wales 2016-17 Key Facts for Policy and Practice Bulletin: Perceptions to Biodiversity

You may use and re-use these free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Previous reports and data

All publications from the 2008 and 2011 surveys (commissioned by the Countryside Council for Wales and Forestry Commission Wales) are available to downloaded from the archived CCW website. This includes Final Reports, full data tables, and Health and Physical Activity reports.

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