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The Value of Countryside Access: A Contingent Valuation Survey of Visitors to the Ridgeway National Trail in the United Kingdom

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A contingent valuation survey of users of the 140 km Ridgeway National Trail was undertaken to estimate the value that users place on access to the Trail. The survey found that users had a mean willingness to pay for access to the Ridgeway of £1.24 per visit (£1.13- £1.36 95% Confidence Limits). With around 150 000 visits to the Ridgeway each year, this gives an estimated annual aggregate benefit of £186 000 (£169 500- £204 000 95% Confidence Limits) plus the economic benefits to local economies of visitor spending of some £0.8 million. This compares with the costs of Trail maintenance of around £154 000 per year. The development of National Trails in England for recreation and tourism is also discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading, PO Box 237, Reading RG6 6AR, UK. [email protected] Centre for Agricultural Strategy, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AR, UK Land and Water Use Management Unit, Scottish Natural Heritage, 12 Hope Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 2AS, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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