ANYONE for tennis?

In early September, Forestry England posted a public appeal on Facebook for funds to help reinstate its Warren Heath holding down in Hampshire. That was reduced to ashes by a wildfire this summer.

It reads that the 39 acres affected are the equivalent of 600 (yes – six hundred) tennis courts. 

We are all familiar with the sensible use of expressions such as a “hectare is about the size of a football pitch” or “the size of Wales” to assist the public to envisage how large a place is.

But the use of a tennis court as a comparative area is a new one on me.

In old money, the official Wimbledon website says a tennis court covers roughly an eighth of an acre – give or take the tram lines on a doubles court. 

By my arithmetic, 8 x 39 rounds up to 300 – nowhere near 600! Or maybe FE were talking about just one side of the net!

READ MORE: Forestry must diversify its workforce or 'be done for'

Maybe it’s no big deal and I am being pedantic, but this case it did make me wonder just how correct the other FE stats are in their press releases meant for general consumption.

And even allowing for a tad of exaggeration to tempt the public to dip in their pockets, isn’t it vital that stats produced by FE for general consumption do not commit a double fault (get it?)!!?

Otherwise these unforced errors can get picked up and rapidly repeated in the press and social media and quickly become the gospel truth or factoids. 

My suggestion that FE correct or clarify this fault went unanswered.

John Jackson