Countryside recreation provision in England: Exploring a demand led approach
Curry, N. and Ravenscroft, N. (2001) Countryside recreation provision in England: Exploring a demand led approach. Land Use Policy, 18 (3). pp. 281-291. ISSN 0264-8377
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0264-8377(01)00022-9
The Countryside Agency has recognised the need for a more demand-led approach to countryside recreation provision. This represents a departure from traditional planning-led approaches, in which measures of consumption have generally been used as proxies for demand. This paper explores the main determinants of the demand for recreation, as well as the principal characteristics of consumption. Despite claims to the contrary, aggregate consumption has not increased in England for the past 20 years, with the main triggers to consumption—incomes and tastes—being beyond the direct control of the recreation policymaker. Despite this, the paper argues that demand-led policy can have a role in manipulating prices, targeting particular social groups and improving the quality rather than the quantity of provision. As a result, we argue that in the future the state will be more effective as a facilitator than as a direct provider of countryside recreation facilities.