Understanding the changes occurring within the forestry sector is complicated by socio-economic and demographic changes within rural communities – sometimes in areas where commercial forestry has a long tradition. These changes in some rural communities, particularly coastal New South Wales, appear significant for forestry as land ownership and management is increasingly disconnected from the traditional agricultural land use. There is an increasing population of landowners in ‘lifestyle’ landscapes who do not appear primarily driven by maximising the profitability of farming. The shift from ‘production’ to ‘lifestyle’ landscapes also reflects a transition in community expectations for forestry – a profound change that is likely to require quite different approaches to management. Landholders may be more likely to be interested in forestry with multiple values – both products and environmental services. Furthermore, well-managed native forests that are integrated into individual properties and wider landscapes, may increase the market value of the property – representing a prudent business investment. In this article, the authors present a method for analysing the relationship between rural land values and the estimated agronomic value of typical farms in a number of districts, as a means of interpreting the underlying social values of landholders. The authors suggest that such analysis can be helpful in identifying changes in community values as a signal that approaches to private native forestry may also need to be adapted to accommodate an increasing number of landholders in ‘lifestyle’ landscapes.