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Forest Recreation and Rural Development

An Assessment of the Recreational Potential of Forest Areas in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Forschungsarbeit 2010 63 Seiten

Geowissenschaften / Geographie - Wirtschaftsgeographie

Leseprobe

TABLE OF CONTENTS

List of illustrations

List of tables

List of abbreviations

List of Gaelic expressions

1. Introduction
1.1 Problem statement and focus of research
1.2 Objective of the study
1.3 Methodology
1.4 Structure of the work

2. Study area: The Cairngorms National Park

2.1 Natural features
2.2 Socio-economic features
2.3 Forests & policy aims

3. Sustainability and multi-functional forests
3.1 Sustainability and Sustainable Forest Management
3.2 Forest functions
3.3 The social function of forests
3.4 Conclusion

4. Forest recreation
4.1 The forest recreation context
4.1.1 History
4.1.2 Current patterns of forest recreation
4.1.3 Conflicts and integration with other land uses
4.1.4 Forest recreation and rural development
4.1.5 Instruments of support
4.2 The framework of forest recreation and the recreational potential
4.2.1 Natural attractiveness
4.2.2 Accessibility
4.2.3 Recreational demand
4.2.4 External factors of influence
4.3 Conclusion

5. The Scottish context: forests and forest policy
5.1 Forests in Scotland
5.2. Forest policy framework
5.3 Scottish forest policy
5.4 EU Rural Development Regulation and the Scottish Rural Development Programme
5.5 Policy instruments
5.6 Conclusion

6. Assessment of the recreational potential of forests in the study area
6.1 Preparing the analysis
6.2 Indicator system
6.3 Calculating the recreational potential
6.4 Indices and indicators
6.4.1 Attractiveness of the forest Site
6.4.2 Attractiveness of the landscape
6.4.3 Existence of forest trails
6.4.4 Accessibility from visitor sources
6.4.5 Accessibility from visitor destinations
6.5 Weighting of indices and main factors
6.6 Mapping the recreational potential of forest areas
6.7 Mapping the recreational potential of non-forested areas

7. Conclusion

8. List of references

Appendix I: Scoring and weighting tables for the indicators

Appendix II: Interim maps showing the five indices and their values

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Illustration 1: Location of the study area in Scotland

Illustration 2: The Cairngorms National Park

Illustration 3: Forest along river Spey, the Cairngorms in the background

Illustration 4: Forest of Scots Pines in the Cairngorms National Park

Illustration 5: Open Birch wood, Speyside

Illustration 6: Hiking as an activity for outdoor recreation

Illustration 7: The forest recreation framework

Illustration 8: Forest visitor centre near Ballater, Cairngorms NP

Illustration 9: Forest plantations in Glen Clova, Cairngorms NP

Illustration 10: Woodland cover of Scotland in 2006

Illustration 11: Forest policy framework for Scotland

Illustration 12: Small forest pocket in Glen Muick, Cairngorms NP

Illustration 13: Indicator system

Illustration 14: The recreational potential of forest areas in the Cairngorms NP

Illustration 15: The recreational potential of non-forested areas in the Cairngorms NP

Illustration 16: Values of forest attractiveness

Illustration 17: Values of landscape attractiveness

Illustration 18: Values of existence of forest trails

Illustration 19: Values of accessibility from visitor sources

Illustration 20: Values of accessibility from visitor destinations

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Tourist destinations and visitor numbers in the Cairngorms NP 2007/2008

Table 2: Scoring of forest type

Table 3: Scoring of NNR presence

Table 4: Scoring and weighting of indicators for landscape attractiveness

Table 5: Scoring of the distance to forest trails

Table 6: Scoring and weighting of indicators for accessibility from visitor sources

Table 7: Scoring and weighting of indicators for accessibility from visitor destinations .

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

illustration not visible in this excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

“ The Highlands of Scotland are certainly an impressive massif. Today, vast and barren, often the only trees are those planted by the Forestry Commission. Their predecessors had been cleared 2,000 years before the Romans arrived, in the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages, leaving only isolated pockets of the original pine and birch woods. ” (BREEZE QUOTED BY SMOUT ET AL. 2005, P. 31)

1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT AND FOCUS OF RESEARCH

The ancient forests of Scotland are deeply settled in the Scottish mind, but the image of a great wood of Caledonia varies particularly from the Scottish forests today. According to the citation of BREEZE (BREEZE QUOTED BY SMOUT ET AL. 2005, P. 31), this is due to historic developments in which forests and other land uses have always been linked with economic development and natural degradation. The native woodlands of Scotland were deforested until the beginning of the 20th century, when forest cover was down to less than five per cent. Today, achieved primarily through the plantation of non-native species by the Forestry Commission, Scotland has a forest cover of 17 per cent. But native species inhabit only 30 per cent of the land area (Forestry COMMISSION 2009, P. 1; SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE 2006, A, P. 16). Like all the European Countries in the late 1990s, also the UK and Scotland came up with strategies to develop their forest resource in an integrating way, trying to put more weight on non-productive functions of forests.

The main site of forest and woodland areas, the rural countryside, faces significant problems nowadays. In former times dominated by the primary sector, rural areas are threatened by a loss of young labour force due to a lack of jobs and resulting population loss, ageing population, decreasing importance of the primary sector and a lack of provided public services. Especially Scotland being an outstanding example with regard to the presence of remote and rural areas has to confront with these problems (the majority of the Scottish land area is classed as rural or remote rural, see SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE 2006, B, P. 10). Rural diversification and an increase in job opportunities are hence objectives pursued by rural policy.

Here, forest recreation comes into play. It can provide opportunities and potentials for rural Scotland. Research showed that forest recreation as part of rural diversification is widely recognised across Europe. But Scotland’s forest resource shows some limitation with regard to forest recreation: it is on the one hand limited in extent, with only a few densely forested areas. On the other hand, large areas of plantation forests consisting of non-native tree species do hamper recreation due to a lack of naturalness. The latter fact points as well at conflicts with other forest functions, especially commercial forestry. Another problem is a lack of awareness for forest recreation. According to these problems, the focus of research is set by the following questions.

- Which role does forest recreation play in current forest management?
- What are the determinants and the framework of forest recreation?
- What is the Scottish context of forestry and forest policy?
- How can the recreational potential of forests be defined and assessed?
- How can this assessment support rural development and diversification?

1.2 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

With regard to the research questions, the main objective of this study is to assess and map the recreational potential of forests in a specific study area. The study area is the Cairngorms National Park, because it comprises both large forests of native tree species and non-native woodlands. Alongside these issues, it is a major destination for tourism and recreation. The resulting map shall provide information on recreational potential of forest sites from which a broad range of benefits arises. Analysing and mapping the recreational potential of forests in the Cairngorms shall contribute to the awareness of stakeholders and land owners for possible economic opportunities. Areas of high potential shall highlight opportunities to utilise recreation for economic diversification. Areas of lower potential could point at sites for recreational improvement. In addition, the assessment shall help as well to target sites for afforestation measures, which would contribute to the development strategy of the National Park and deliver new forest sites of a high recreational potential.

This main objective is based on different aims. These aims concern the building of a suitable theoretical background for the assessment. The background is built especially by theory and current patterns of forest recreation and the determination of factors influencing forest recreation. Furthermore, an examination of instruments to support forest recreation in Scotland shall develop a background of rural development and enable a placement of the used assessment method among these instruments afterwards.

1.3 METHODOLOGY

The methodological approach of this work based first on a literature review. Forest recreation is recognised since the Middle Ages, but research on forest recreation began to be pursued only in the last decades (BELL & PETURSSON 2009, PP. 7). The patterns of forest recreation were researched as well as its determinants and prerequisites. Furthermore, literature on the Scottish context built the background to understand the forest resource of Scotland, its use and the intended development. Forest and rural development policy in Scotland were studied to examine the instruments which shall and do influence forest recreation.

For the analysis of this work, a special study area in Scotland has been chosen by virtue of various reasons (see Chapter 2.2). The main instrument of this spatial analysis was a geographic information system (GIS). In more detail, the assessment of the recreational potential of forests in the Cairngorms National Park was based upon a grid GIS analysis.

For the reason that the assessment of an area of 3,800 km² demands for a regional approach, grid GIS analysis is the most appropriate method (see e.g. VAN DER HORST 2000, PP. 226). Grid GIS methods allow the user to calculate and display a value for each cell of a grid. Space is therefore defined as an array of equally sized cells arranged in rows and columns. Each cell has a spatial reference and an attributed value. In general, the applied GIS methodology had the aim to calculate and display the recreational potential value for each cell of a forest area. Because the recreational potential cannot be described by a single variable or indicator, different indicators were developed which needed to be combined for the assessment. This approach is a multi-criteria analysis that integrates different indices and indicators by scoring and weighting.

Subsequently, the main terms for this study shall be defined.

Forests and woodlands

In the understanding of this work the term forest describes an area of trees which has a closed canopy cover consisting of trees of which some have maturity status. The terms forest, woodland and woods are used identically.

Forest recreation

Forest recreation in the understanding of this work is any off-work and therefore leisure activity carried out by visitors or inhabitants in a forest.

Recreational potential

The recreational potential shall be defined as the attractiveness of a forest area for the carrying out of recreational activities.

1.4 STRUCTURE OF THE WORK

Following this introduction, the second chapter gives a brief description of the study area, the Cairngorms National Park, and outlines the reasons for its choice. The third chapter provides an overview of the sustainable forest management context and forest functions. Following, the fourth chapter examines current patterns in forest recreation and against this background, the forest recreation determinants and its framework are studied. Chapter 5 deals with the Scottish context represented by the forest resource, forest policy and instruments to develop forest recreation. The actual assessment of the recreational potential of forests in the Cairngorms takes place in chapter 6. Summarising, the last chapter concludes the work and highlights areas for the application of the results.

2. STUDY AREA: THE CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK

The area of the Cairngorms National Park is situated in the north-eastern part of Scotland (see Illustration 1). It covers 3,800 km² and is hence the largest National Park in the UK. Established in 2003, it is also the youngest (BARKER & STOCKDALE 2009, P. 483). The park comprises the most rural and remote areas in north-eastern Scotland but is well accessible from urban centres such as Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee and Perth (all within a distance of less than 100 km, see Illustration 1). At present time, it is recognised by visitors and tourists for its wildness and naturalness and is hence a major destination for outdoor recreation and tourism.

Illustration 1: Location of the study area in Scotland

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: own illustration based on Ordnance Survey data (2010)

As part of the Grampian Mountains and hence the Scottish Highlands, the most distinctive natural feature of the Cairngorms landscape is an extensive area of highland plateau. This plateau is then surrounded by a diverse mix of heather clad moors, forested areas, lakes, rivers, farmlands and floodplains (BARKER & STOCKDALE 2009, P. 483). , The straths, the main valleys of the rivers Dee (south-east of the plateau, called the Deeside) and Spey (north-west of the plateau, called the Speyside), contain the main settlements Kingussie, Aviemore, Grantown-on-Spey (all Speyside), Braemar and Ballater (both Deeside) and the primary road network (see Illustration 2).

Illustration 2: The Cairngorms National Park

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: own illustration based on Ordnance Survey data (2010)

2.1 NATURAL FEATURES

A landscape assessment in 1996 by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) divides the Cairngorms landscape in three main areas: the highland plateau, the uplands and glens and the straths (TURNBULL JEFFRETY PARTNERSHIP 1996, P. 7). Each area has its own main character with diverse vegetation types and habitats. Their combination forms the distinct character of the National Park. The highland plateau is the highest area of arctic landscape in the UK and comprises some of the highest mountains of the UK reaching 1,300 metres above sea level. It is dominated by granite rocks and ground hugging vegetation. The uplands and glens surrounding the plateau are covered with extensive heather moorland, rough grassland and partially forests. These show little human impact. Contrary, the two major straths, the Deeside and the Speyside, are dominated by a mix of farmland, forests and settlements and have a long history of cultivation (TURNBULL JEFFRETY PARTNERSHIP 1996, PP. 25).

Illustration 3: Forest along river Spey, the Cairngorms in the background

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: own photograph

The various vegetation types of the three areas are moreover home to a particular biodiversity. Besides a huge area of alpine habitats, moorlands with heather vegetation and native woodlands generate a living environment for many species like e.g. the red grouse (SCOTTISH NATURAL HERITAGE 2002, PP. 7).

2.2 SOCIO-ECONOMIC FEATURES

The socio-economic environment in the park faces different challenges and it bears the need of strategies for rural development. The area has 16,000 inhabitants and structural change is evident: the local economy, in the past dominated by primary sector activities such as agriculture, forestry and fishing, now is more diversified. For example, 20 per cent of the population work in hotels and restaurants, whereas only five per cent account for employment in the primary sector (BARKER & STOCKDALE 2009, P. 483). Illustration 2 shows a great number of tourist sites within the area of the park (see Illustration 2). In addition, table 1 presents data on visitors to a selection of tourist destinations in the study area (see Table 1). The high numbers of visitors in the Strathspey lead to the conclusion that the Spey valley is more developed in case of tourism than the Deeside. Overall is becomes clear that tourism is a major feature of the economy.

Table 1: Tourist destinations and visitor numbers in the Cairngorms NP 2007/2008

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: own table based on VISIT SCOTLAND 2010

Besides obvious pressure on those employed in primary sector activities, BARKER & STOCKDALE (2009) furthermore describe trends of rural ageing and a thinning within the labour force. Young people leave the area of the National Park because of few job opportunities and high prices for housing, which rise due to a high demand for holiday homes (BARKER & STOCKDALE 2009, P. 484). Hence, the call for an integrated development considering the natural features of the park as well as these structural changes led to the establishment of the Cairngorms National Park in 2003 under the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 (BARKER & STOCKDALE 2009, P. 483). Alongside common goals like conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage, the National Park objectives concern especially the support of recreation for diversification and, being unique in Britain, the promotion of a sustainable social and economic development of the park’s communities (CNPA 2007, P. 18).

2.3 FORESTS & POLICY AIMS

Regarding the forest resource, the area of the Cairngorms contains the largest remaining fragments of ancient Caledonian Pine forests, being as well home to a manifold native flora and fauna (SCOTTISH NATURAL HERITAGE 2002, PP. 7). Accompanied by forest plantations, the area reaches currently a forest cover of 20 per cent, which is higher than the Scottish average and draws the attention to forest recreation (CNPA 2008, P. 7). The forests are mainly situated in the major river valleys and reach only partially higher altitudes (see Illustration 2).

Illustration 4: Forest of Scots Pines in the Cairngorms National Park

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: own photograph

The Cairngorms Forest and Woodland Framework is the long-term strategy to steer the forest development in the park. It promotes multi-objective forestry to deliver social, environmental and economic benefits (CNPA 2008, P. 11). The main strategic objectives following the EU Rural Development Regulation and the aims of the Scottish Forestry Strategy (see Chapters 5.3 & 5.4) are the establishment of new native forests (especially in higher altitudes close to the natural tree line at ca. 700 m a.s.l., see Chapter 5.1) and the restructuring of existing forests to deliver multiple outcomes such as habitat connection and recreational benefits (CNPA 2008, P. 11). Regarding the latter, the contribution of forestry to tourism shall be increased. Accordingly, forests shall develop their role as a major sustainable tourism asset. They shall provide high quality recreational opportunities for visitors and contribute to the landscape’s character and identity. In addition, the framework aims at raising the awareness of stakeholders for economic diversification through forest-based tourism (CNPA 2008, P. 12).

The Cairngorms National Park is highly attractive for recreation and tourism. According to the distinct character of the landscape and its perceived wildness and remoteness described above, recreation and tourism are crucial features. Because the park contains besides other natural features large remnants of native woodlands and a comparatively high forest cover, forest recreation is seen to play a significant role. Moreover, the policy strategy of the Cairngorms aims at improving the economic benefits of forest-based tourism and recreation to diversify and strengthen the rural economy. Rural diversification is evidently of need with regard to the socio-economic challenges in the park. For all these reasons, the Cairngorms National Park was chosen as the study area. It provides a large potential for developing forests for recreation.

3. SUSTAINABILITY AND MULTI-FUNCTIONAL FORESTS

The image of forests and forestry has changed greatly during the 20th century. The historic single purpose forestry of production evolved to a multi-facet recognition of forests based on a broad range of benefits and services they deliver. A dominant driver of this development was the rise of sustainable development. This chapter shall briefly regard sustainability in the context of forest management and the different functions of forests. It shall then highlight the social function of forests being the main driver for forest recreation and tourism.

3.1 SUSTAINABILITY AND SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT

The term sustainability is nowadays omnipresent in development and planning debates. Historically, it was first used by a German scientist called Hans Carl von Carlowitz in a publication from 1713 on forestry. To prevent the forest resource from exploitation and achieve a certain economic stability, von Carlowitz suggested to cut only as many trees as trees grow per unit of time. He called that “nachhaltige Waldwirtschaft” (sustainable forestry) and proposed it as a guiding principle for the development of forests and woodland (WILDERER 2007, P. 2). However, forests were still regarded for the single purpose of production.

After the highly recognised definition of sustainability by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 (WCED 1987) and the growing awareness of the important functions of forests, the discussion on the sustainable management of forests was continued on two important conferences. In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro came up with different guidelines and principles for forestry. Within the context of sustainability, sustainable forest management should integrate social, economic and ecological as well was spiritual and cultural aspects of forests (PALO ET AL. 1999, P. 7). Following up, the major conference in Europe was the second Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe in Helsinki 1993, in which European guidelines and principles for forestry were developed. One of the results was the following definition of sustainable forest management.

“ Sustainable forest management is ‘ the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems ’ . ” (FORESTRY COMMISSION 2004, P. 8)

This definition draws up the different functions of forests and the deriving benefits for the social, economical and ecological dimension. These shall be considered in forest management and development. Moreover, it becomes clear that the forest resource offers benefits on different spatial scales, from local level to global level.

3.2 FOREST FUNCTIONS

Today, the view on forests and woodlands is holistic compared to their predominant purpose of wood production and delivery of non-timber products in the past. With the decrease of the importance of wood production in the industrialised world, other forest functions increased in weight. With regard to sustainability and sustainable forest management, the consideration of diverse forest functions draws a more complex view on forests.

Forests have been used for their productive function since prehistoric times. The productive function includes the provision of timber products as well as non timber products. Throughout history forests have provided natural products such as timber, cork, resin but as well plants, plant products and animals. These products have built the basis for people’s livelihood in the past and, in more recent centuries, for forest-related economic activities, which led to the exploitation of forests and the increasing amount of forest plantations (FÜHRER 2000). Today, forestry and agriculture as the main primary sector industries still cover about 80 per cent of the European territory. Being predominantly rural, these areas comprise only 25 per cent of the European inhabitants (RÖNNINGEN 2001, P. 3). Therefore the productive function of forests is partially still of high importance for rural economies. But facing a decrease in timber prices due to changes on the world market, the import of cheaper timber from overseas, modern forestry methods and equipment which reduce the labour-force and an in general decrease of land value, these areas need to look at other qualities of the land to produce additional revenues (RÖNNINGEN 2001, P. 3). This ‘post-productivist transition’ in European countries as well as the debates on sustainable development led to the re- discovery and the increase in weight and recognition of other forest functions.

Hence in the past decades, forests have been re-discovered to offer a range of non- economic benefits. These benefits derive from forests’ ecological and social functions. Regarding ecology, forest habitats represent a considerable part of the flora and fauna and vary particularly across different kinds of forested areas (FÜHRER 2000, P. 30). Thus forest areas contribute significantly to biodiversity and its conservation. Bearing in mind the idea of sustainable development and the aim of conserving habitats and their species, the ecological function of forests maintaining the natural environment became important in policy objectives. However, the condition and the characteristics of each forest’s ecosystem determine this potential (FÜHRER 2000, P. 30). That means that the condition of habitats and biodiversity is strongly influenced by the condition of the forest, its main purpose and its management strategy. BELL (2001, P. 9) states that plantation forestry has “often been seen as harmful to biodiversity”, because non-native elements such as tree species created habitats of low natural value e.g. in Scotland. Forests of a more native character comprising indigenous trees and vegetation have a higher value and are more appropriate to deliver this ecological function of biodiversity maintenance.

FÜHRER (2000) mentions further ecological functions of forests, which have positive effects on the environment by affecting climate, hydrology and the quality of water and air. Furthermore, pointing also at a global understanding of their importance, forests have a crucial role in carbon sequestration. They act as carbon sinks and contribute to the mitigation of the climate change (FÜHRER 2000, P. 30).

Another ecological function of forest areas is the protective one. It refers to the ability of forests to offer prevention against destructive natural events like avalanches, desertification and soil erosion (FÜHRER 2000, P. 30). The presence of forests in areas of such risks can protect human settlements (e.g. in mountainous areas) and infrastructure as well as the environment (e.g. declining risk of erosion).

3.3 THE SOCIAL FUNCTION OF FORESTS

Alongside the preceding functions, the sustainable development debate and current changes in society have increased the weight of the social function of forests. This function describes the capacity of forests and woodlands to provide outdoor recreation, to improve public health and well-being and to offer sites for nature tourism. BELL & PETURSSON (2009) reveal the importance of nature access and recreation in today’s society referring to high urbanised populations and related health impacts of modern living such as stress, obesity and lack of exercise (BELL & PETURSSON 2009, P. 1).

Accordingly, the main social values of forests are their immaterial benefits such as aesthetic qualities and the improvement of psychological and physical health for people (TYRVÄINEN ET AL. 2009, P. 35). TYRVÄINEN ET AL. (2009) clarify that forests offer the aesthetic enjoyment of nature, especially next to urban settlements but also in the countryside. A study of visits to forests in the Netherlands showed that 58 million visits were made to dutch forest areas, whilst only 26 million visits were made to beaches in the same year (PRÖBSTL ET AL. 2009, P. 13). This shows that forests provide higher aesthetic and recreational values for the society than other destinations. People enjoy these benefits directly or indirectly. Direct enjoyment takes place through a broad range of recreational activities such as walking, jogging or biking, which can be carried out in forests and wooded areas. Serving health and well-being, people use forest recreation to recover from daily stress and to regain positive feelings. Problems of today’s societies like obesity and a lack of exercise are addressed by national policies, which promote recreational and outdoor activities. Moreover, being in contact with forests and trees is seen to increase environmental awareness and knowledge on environmental processes, particularly for children (TYRVÄINEN ET AL. 2009, P. 35).

Indirectly, people enjoy the benefits of forests as part of their environment. They live or work next to these areas and experience the aesthetic value in their everyday life. By these means forests contribute to the quality of working or housing areas, which therefore achieve higher property values (TYRVÄINEN ET AL. 2009, P. 35). This indirect enjoyment bases on the fact that forests add amenity values to the landscape they are situated in. This addition of visual amenity to the entire landscape is widely recognised in research (ROBERTS ET AL. 2000, P. 1; VAN DER HORST 2000, P. 221; TYRVÄINEN ET AL. 2009, P. 35). Forests are seen to improve the appearance of landscapes and contribute to their perceived character. The amenity services attract locals, visitors and tourists to carry out outdoor recreation in or next to forest areas. The perception of the landscape as a whole is in the foreground implying the visual value of existing forests.

Illustration 5: Open Birch wood, Speyside

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: own photograph

Besides aesthetic values, forests themselves offer further values through their natural features such as biodiversity. MARTIN (2005) refers to the provision of wildlife and both natural and cultural heritage in a peaceful and quiet surrounding (MARTIN 2005, P. 57). Recreational activities concentrate on forest areas because the forests alleviate the experience of flora and fauna. Font & Tribe point out that especially the experience of wildlife is a key driver for people to visit forests (FONT & TRIBE 1999, P. 3). Thus, the social function of forests in these terms is the possibility for the society to experience nature through wildlife. This serves as well environmental awareness and education.

This forest function is also associated with economic benefits. Recreational and tourism activities offer opportunities for areas suffering from structural change and a decrease of income in the primary sector. Research carried out by the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute supports this, highlighting the diversification of rural economies by generating employment and income from the social function of forests. Tourism and recreation expenditure is found out to be significant for the rural economy (ROBERTS ET AL. 2000, P. 1).

Summarising, forests offer great benefits for people and society through the social function and its determinants. They contribute to well-being and health and strengthen environmental awareness. Forest areas have a great significance for landscapes and their perception by different population groups, which again conduces to the emergence of potentials and opportunities for the rural economy. Forests in landscapes are seen to contribute to a higher landscape value and hence to a higher recreational potential.

3.4 CONCLUSION

Overall, the multifunctional character of forests which is displayed here demands integrated approaches for their management. Not all of the functions allow a management which considers each benefit at the same time or at the same scale. For instance, there are forests which are more appropriate for recreation purposes, biodiversity conservation or timber production. Although the Director of Forests in the German Government Forestry Office states that in 90 per cent of the German forests the productive, the protective and the recreational function of forests can be delivered at the same time (LANG 1995 QUOTED BY FONT & TRIBE 1999, P. 3), the increase of one of the uses would lead to a weakening of other functions. Regarding these conflicts, it becomes clear that decisions in forestry and forest development have to carefully trade-off the effects on the forest functions and their benefits.

Details

Seiten
63
Jahr
2010
Dateigröße
5.1 MB
Sprache
Deutsch
Katalognummer
v145628
Institution / Hochschule
Technische Universität Dortmund – Faculty of Spatial Planning
Note
Schlagworte
rural development forest recreation cairngorms national park

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Titel: Forest Recreation and Rural Development