The Sustainable Use of Sensitive Countryside Sites for Sport and Active Recreation
Sport and active recreation, as an important area of leisure activity that can take place in the countryside, has recently been the subject of much discussion both in central government reports and statutory agencies' studies. This paper examines principles for their planning and management, particularly in sensitive areas such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. It takes the view that effective recreation management should be promoted, suggesting that the designation of countryside areas should not imply that they are unchanging, or that environmental policies should be applied uniformly. The Government's UK Sustainable Development Strategy 1994 emphasizes the importance of assessing capacity and of management and monitoring in providing for leisure. Yet knowledge of recreation impacts is incomplete. A number of principles for the management of countryside recreation are given, and examples given of such principles in use. These stress the need for effective participation by the various interests involved at sites and the importance of voluntary approaches to the resolution of conflicts.
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