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Public Attitudes to the Environment in Scotland

DescriptionFinal report of analysis of responses to the 'Public Attitudes to the Environment in Scotland' survey 2002
ISBN0-7559 3584 5
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateJanuary 27, 2005

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2005

Public Attitudes to the Environment in Scotland

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CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHOD
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 SURVEY DESIGN
1.3 REPORTING CONVENTIONS AND TYPES OF ANALYSIS
1.4 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SAMPLE

CHAPTER TWO OVERVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
2.1 CONCERN ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
2.2 COMPARISON WITH OTHER SURVEYS
2.3 RELATIONSHIPS WITH SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES
2.4 BELIEFS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND FLOODING RISK IN SCOTLAND
2.5 VIEWS ON WATER QUALITY
2.6 LOCAL ENVIRONMENTS
2.7 VIEWS ON LITTER AND DOG FOULING
2.8 SUMMARY

CHAPTER THREE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
3.1 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
3.2 PERSONAL ACTIONS RELATED TO THE ENVIRONMENT
3.3 BARRIERS TO SOLVING ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND POTENTIAL MECHANISMS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
3.4 AWARENESS OF ORGANISATIONS WORKING TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND VIEWS ON THEIR PERFORMANCE
3.5 SUMMARY

CHAPTER FOUR RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING
4.1 ACCESS TO RECYCLING FACILITIES
4.2 CURRENT RECYCLING BEHAVIOURS
4.3 PREDICTED RECYCLING BEHAVIOURS WITH DOOR-STEP COLLECTION SERVICE
4.4 BARRIERS TO USING A DOOR-STEP COLLECTION SERVICE FOR RECYCLING
4.5 COMPOSTING
4.6 SUMMARY

CHAPTER FIVE DRINKING WATER QUALITY AND ENERGY PRODUCTION
5.1 VIEWS ON DRINKING WATER QUALITY
5.2 ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION
5.3 SUMMARY

CHAPTER SIX RADIOACTIVITY
6.1 CONCERN ABOUT NUCLEAR WASTE AND THE GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY BY NUCLEAR POWER
6.2 SOURCES OF RADIOACTIVITY
6.3 RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL
6.4 RADIOACTIVE WASTE TREATMENT
6.4 TRANSPORT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE
6.5 RESPONSIBILITY FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE
6.7 SUMMARY

CHAPTER SEVEN VIEWS ON SCOTLAND'S NATURAL HERITAGE
7.1 CONCERN ABOUT PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE, AREAS OF CONSERVATION INTEREST & NEW DEVELOPMENT IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
7.2 TYPES OF COUNTRYSIDE USER
7.3 THE IMPORTANCE OF WILDLIFE AND HABITAT PROTECTION
7.4 HOW WELL ARE WILDLIFE AND HABITATS PROTECTED?
7.5 THREATS TO WILDLIFE AND HABITATS AND METHODS OF PROTECTION
7.6 AWARENESS OF NATIONAL PARK PROPOSALS AND AIMS
7.7 THE FUTURE OF NATIONAL PARKS
7.8 SUMMARY

APPENDIX A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE A AND B
APPENDIX B SURVEY RESPONSES BY POSTCODE SECTOR
APPENDIX C WOODLAND MANAGEMENT PICTURE CARD

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
TABLES

Table 1.1 Topics covered by the questionnaires used in the survey
Table 1.2 The urban / rural classification used for sampling
Table 1.3 Summary of response
Table 1.4 Socio-demographic variables by sex
Table 1.5 Socio-demographic variables by age
Table 1.6 Socio-demographic variables by highest educational qualification
Table 1.7 Socio-demographic variables by tenure type
Table 1.8 Socio-demographic variables by urban or rural location
Table 1.9 Socio-demographic variables by family type
Table 1.10 Socio-demographic variables by whether a car available to household
Table 2.1 Level of concern about a range of environmental issues
Table 2.2 Comparison of concern about environmental issues between 1991 and 2002 surveys
Table 2.3 Concern for nuclear issues by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.4 Concern for international issues by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.5 Concern for pollution and water quality by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.6 Concern over protection of wildlife and conservation issues by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.7 Concern over fishing issues by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.8 Concern over farming and forestry issues by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.9 Ways of managing woodlands in Scotland
Table 2.10 Ways of managing woodlands which should be most emphasised by urban or rural location
Table 2.11 Belief in world climate change by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.12 The effects of world climate change on Scotland's weather
Table 2.13 Perceived major contributors to climate change
Table 2.14 Perceived contributors to climate change by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.15 Perception of flooding risk to own home by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.16 Whether would find out if a house was at risk from flooding before buying by perceptions of current flood risk to home
Table 2.17 Perceived condition of river, loch and sea water 1991 and 2002
Table 2.18 Perceived quality of seawater off Scottish beaches by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.19 Perceived quality of most rivers and lochs in Scotland by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.20 Perceived quality of rivers and lochs in local areas by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.21 Facilities which people would be least happy to live beside
Table 2.22 'Which of the following would you be happy or not happy about living beside?' by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.23 The size of the litter problem in Scotland by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.24 Perceptions of change in litter problem in last five years by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.25 The size of the dog fouling problem in Scotland by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.26 Whether dog fouling has got worse in last five years by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 2.27 Ways of reducing litter by whether household has children
Table 2.28 Ways of reducing dog fouling by whether household has a dog
Table 3.1 Awareness of the term 'sustainable development' by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 3.2 Understanding of 'sustainable development'
Table 3.3 Understanding of 'sustainable development' by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 3.4 Agreement that most people in Scotland / respondents themselves need to change their way of life so that future generations can continue to enjoy a good quality of life and environment' by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 3.5 Who needs to change their way of life?: Responsibility takers, responsibility elsewheres and status quos by age
Table 3.6 Responsibility takers, responsibility elsewheres and status quos, by highest educational qualification
Table 3.7 Changes respondents thought they should personally make
Table 3.8 Environmental actions undertaken in past 12 months by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 3.9 Actions to try and limit the amount of energy used
Table 3.10 Actions to try and save water
Table 3.11 Main difficulties in reducing the amount of energy used
Table 3.12 Main difficulties in saving water
Table 3.13 Selected energy and water saving actions and difficulties in relation to belief in the need for people in Scotland to change their way of life
Table 3.14 'Do you think environmentally friendly products are generally as good/cheap/easy to find as the alternatives?'
Table 3.15 Whether environmentally friendly products thought to be as good/cheap/easy to find as the alternatives by whether buys them or not
Table 3.16 Who buys environmentally friendly products?
Table 3.17 Shopping for the environment in relation to belief in the need for people in Scotland to change their way of life
Table 3.18 Views on meaning of the logos on wood products
Table 3.19 Personal actions for the environment by highest educational qualification
Table 3.20 Personal actions for the environment by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 3.21 Perceived barriers to solving environmental problems
Table 3.22 Perceived barriers to solving environmental problems by age
Table 3.23 Perceived barriers to solving environmental problems by highest educational qualification
Table 3.24 Perceived barriers to solving environmental problems by belief in the need for people in Scotland to change their way of life
Table 3.25 Paying for protection of the environment
Table 3.26 Views on paying for environmental protection by socio-demographic characteristics and belief in the need for people in Scotland to change their way of life
Table 3.27 Awareness of organisations by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 3.28 Views on the performance of different types of organisation
Table 3.29 Proportion of people thinking each organisation's performance was good or very good, by highest educational qualification
Table 4.1 Access to recycling facilities for glass, paper, cans and plastic
Table 4.2 Access to recycling facilities for glass, paper, cans and plastic by urban or rural location and age
Table 4.3 Access to recycling facilities for glass, paper, cans and plastic by highest educational qualification, tenure type and whether a car available to household
Table 4.4 Amount of glass, paper, cans and plastic recycled by respondent and household
Table 4.5 Recycling of glass, paper, cans and plastic by urban or rural location and age
Table 4.6 Recycling of glass, paper, cans and plastic by highest educational qualification, tenure type and whether a car available to household
Table 4.7 Amount of glass recycled by access to recycling facilities for glass, paper and cans
Table 4.8 Whether would recycle each type of material with a doorstep collection service in relation to whether currently recycled each material
Table 4.9 Whether would recycle with a door-step collection service by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 4.10 Potential barriers to recycling by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 4.11 Whether kitchen or garden waste gets composted by urban or rural location and for all respondents
Table 4.12 Whether kitchen or garden waste gets composted by age and highest educational qualification
Table 4.13 Whether kitchen or garden waste gets composted by tenure type and whether household has a garden
Table 4.14 Whether would compost waste with a door-step collection service and potential barriers to doing so by urban or rural location and for all respondents
Table 4.15 Whether would compost waste with a door-step collection service and potential barriers to doing so by age and highest educational qualification
Table 4.16 Whether would compost waste with a door-step collection service and potential barriers to doing so by tenure type and whether household has a garden
Table 5.1 Satisfaction with quality of tap water by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.2 Whether drinking water has got worse or better over last five years by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.3 Whether drinking water will get worse or better over next five years by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.4 Problems experienced with tap water by level of satisfaction with drinking water
Table 5.5 Whether bottled or filtered water users had experienced problems with tap water
Table 5.6 Reasons for using bottled or filtered water
Table 5.7 Use of bottled or filtered water by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.8 Whether tap water drunk when away from home by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.9 Awareness of electricity generating methods by respondent's sex
Table 5.10 Perceived attributes of different methods of electricity production
Table 5.11 Non-awareness of attributes of different methods of electricity production by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.12 Views on generating electricity by nuclear power in relation to socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.13 Views on generating electricity by coal and oil in relation to socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.14 Views on generating electricity by gas fired power stations in relation to socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.15 Views on generating electricity by hydro power stations in relation to socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.16 Views on generating electricity by wind power in relation to socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.17 Views on generating electricity by other renewables in relation to socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.18 Preferences regarding the proportion of total electricity generation in Scotland to come from different sources
Table 5.19 Proportion of people wanting more or less of different types of power generation by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 5.20 Views on creating wind farms in Scotland by urban or rural location
Table 5.21 Views on creating wind farms in Scotland by highest educational qualification
Table 5.22 Views on creating wind farms in Scotland by age
Table 5.23 Actual distance from a wind farm by urban or rural location
Table 5.24 Views on creating wind farms in Scotland by present distance from a wind farm
Table 5.25 Happiness with living next to a wind farm by present distance from a wind farm
Table 6.1 Concern over different radiation and radioactivity exposure risks
Table 6.2 Concern over selected radiation and radioactivity exposure risks by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 6.3 Perceived distance from a major source of radioactivity by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 6.4 Comparison of actual distance and perceived distance from a major source of radioactivity
Table 6.5 Happiness to live next to nuclear power facility by actual and perceived distance from that type of facility
Table 6.6 Perception of radioactive risk
Table 6.7 Perceptions of what radioactive waste is
Table 6.8 Whether radioactive waste is all the same by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 6.9 The main risks of storing nuclear waste
Table 6.10 Methods of radioactive waste disposal
Table 6.11 Radioactive waste processing providing jobs near home by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 6.12 Whether radioactive waste should be moved for treatment
Table 6.13 How often respondents thought radioactive waste is transported around Scotland
Table 6.14 Whether Scotland should return radioactive waste from other countries by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 6.15 Levels of trust in those involved in nuclear waste by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 7.1 Use of the countryside
Table 7.2 Type of countryside user by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 7.3 Importance of protecting wildlife and habitats in Scotland by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 7.4 Perception of how well wildlife and habitats in Scotland are protected at present by socio-demographic characteristics
T able 7.5 Whether wildlife and habitat have become more or less protected in the last five years by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 7.6 Whether protection has changed over last five years by how well wildlife and habitats are protected at present
Table 7.7 Greatest threats to wildlife and habitats by urban or rural location and type of countryside user*
Table 7.8 Ways of protecting wildlife and habitats by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 7.9 Who do you think plays an important role in protecting wildlife and habitats at the moment?
Table 7.10 Awareness of proposals to create two National Parks in Scotland by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 7.11 'What do you think the aims of the National Parks are?' by socio-demographic characteristics
Table 7.12 'What difference do you think National Parks will make to Scotland?' by urban or rural location and type of countryside user
Table 7.13 'Should Scotland have more National Parks?' by socio-demographic characteristics

FIGURES

Figure 2.1 Comparison of concern about environmental issues between 1991 and 2002 surveys
Figure 2.2 'Do you believe the world's climate is changing?' by highest educational qualification
Figure 2.3 Happiness about living beside different waste, energy and transport facilities
Figure 2.4 Size of litter and dog fouling problems in Scotland by tenure type
Figure 3.1 Examples of respondents' definitions of 'sustainable development'
Figure 3.2 Views on whether people should change their way of life to benefit future generations
Figure 3.3 Percentage of respondents who agreed that they or most people in Scotland need to change their way of life by age and highest educational qualification
Figure 3.4 Views on whether environmentally friendly products were as good, cheap or easy to find as the alternatives
Figure 3.5 Perceived major barriers to solving environmental problems
Figure 3.6 Factors independently associated with certain views on major barriers to protecting the environment
Figure 3.7 Factors independently associated with certain views on paying for protecting the environment
Figure 3.8 Views on how good different types of organisations are at protecting the environment in Scotland
Figure 4.1 Percentage of households with access to recycling facilities for glass, paper, cans and plastic
Figure 4.2 Percentage of households recycling glass, paper, cans and plastic
Figure 4.3 Percentage of households with/without car that recycle glass
Figure 4.4 Percentage of households with/without car that recycle paper
Figure 4.5 Recycling of glass and paper by access to facilities
Figure 4.6 Factors with an independent relationship with recycling behaviour for each type of material (model with access to facilities)
Figure 4.7 Factors with an independent relationship with recycling behaviour for each type of material (model without access to facilities)
Figure 5.1 Dissatisfaction with quality of tap water
Figure 5.2 Whether drinking water has got worse or better over last five years
Figure 5.3 Characteristics of different methods of electricity production
Figure 5.4 Current and preferred sources of electricity
Figure 6.1 Perceptions of sources of radioactivity
Figure 6.2 Distance from a major source of radioactivity
Figure 6.3 Whether Scotland receives radioactive waste brought from other countries/whether other countries have taken some of Scotland's radioactive waste
Figure 6.4 Main responsibility for dealing with radioactive waste in Scotland
Figure 7.1 Protected areas in Scotland
Figure 7.2 Typology of countryside users
Figure 7.3 Type of countryside user by urban or rural location and tenure type
Figure 7.4 Perception of how well wildlife and habitats are protected and whether have become more or less protected in the last five years
Figure 7.5 Views on ways of protecting or improving wildlife and habitats
Figure 7.6 Bodies that do and should play an important role in protecting wildlife and habitats
Figure 7.7 Travel time from a National Park

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This study would not have been possible without the assistance of many people. The Scottish Executive, Forestry Commission and Scottish Natural Heritage all provided funding for the survey, and contributed to its design and conduct. The fieldwork was undertaken by George Street Research and particular thanks go to Andra Laird, Yvonne Somers and Mike Barber. We would also like to thank Gillian Raab for her statistical expertise in calculating the weights and design effects for the study.

As with all large surveys, we are indebted to the interviewers who carried out the face to face fieldwork and to the many respondents who freely gave of their time to be interviewed.

The views expressed in this report are those of the researcher and
do not necessarily represent those of the Department or Scottish Ministers.

This report is available on the Scottish Executive Social Research website only
www.scotland.gov.uk/socialresearch.