Leisure in the English countryside: policy making in the 1960s
The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949 has assumed enormous significance in terms of demonstrating the emergence of a Third Force in the countryside, alongside farming and forestry, namely that of outdoor recreation and the protection of amenity and wildlife. The Countryside Act of 1968 addressed more explicitly the issues arising from the impact of increasing numbers of visitors to the countryside and coast. The paper reconstructs the decision-making process by which the powers of the 1949 Act were recognized to need extension. A Government Statement, or White Paper, Leisure in the countryside: England and Wales, was drafted and approved, and Cabinet consent obtained for a Bill. The paper highlights the significance of intra- and inter-departmental relationships in a powerdependency process that played so prominent a role in determining post-war environmental policy in Britain.