The European public has a long tradition of interaction with, but has mixed emotions about forests. On the one hand they see forests as part of nature bringing peace and happiness to all. On the other hand there is a traditional memory of danger in forests, re-inforced by the modern use of under-policed forests for all kinds of criminal activities. Nevertheless, people will use forests very frequently (25% of visitors do so every day), mostly for gentle activities such as walking. Urban forests tend to be managed by traditionally-trained managers who do not understand the public's attitude to forests. The public re-acts to forests on a personal basis. They are not much concerned with ecological purity. Such misunderstandings underlie the high propensity to conflict. With increasing leisure and wealth the range of activities that people wish to carry-out in forests has increased enormously. Many of these activities are mutually incompatible and lead to conflict between users. The social sciences and the new science of environmental psychology can be used to elucidate people's real feelings about urban forests and to assist with overall design. Specific requirements of mutually-incompatible uses can be catered for in separate areas by finding-out and designing-in features which both attract and repel.