My countryside attraction is New Forest National Park. This general description of countryside attraction explains the general appeal, impact of location, design features and key points about countryside operation and management. My individual investigation of Exmoor National Park examines each of these features in more detail. By doing a general description first it will help to highlight the key information on countryside attractions that can then be compared with man-made attractions.
Countryside location and access
The key difference between countryside and man-made attractions is that the first are natural where as the second can be chosen. In Britain, there are over 10 national parks in various parts of the country but most of the parks are in the north. There are no national parks in the southeast London area. There are a variety of countryside natural attractions including gardens, nature trails, private farms, forests and woodland, wetland, smaller area of open space often used for out-door recreation, wildlife parks, and bird sanctuaries all of which are not national parks, but can be important countryside attractions. The coastal areas of Britain, separate to beaches and resorts, include costal walks, natural wildlife and scenery, which are popular with tourists.
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Location and access to countryside is important for the following reasons:
- Promotion of tourism
- Economic. Countryside tourism earns income for the tourism industry
- Social. Countryside tourism provides opportunities for education, enjoyment and social entertainment.
- Environment. The management of the countryside especially in national parks helps protect the environment for the benefit of wildlife, plants, farming animals, local communities, visiting tourists for now and the future.
- Impacts of location and access can also be negative. Some countryside area attracts high numbers of visitors in peak season, which can have a negative impact on wildlife, farming, local communities, if not controlled. The seasonal popularity of countryside areas and the bad climate in winter can have a negative economic impact on employment, income for businesses and the country balance of payments.
Appeal and popularity
The main appeal and popularity of Britain outside its heritage cities and its popular youth culture is the greenery of its countryside heritage, which is uniquely different to natural scenery attractions of other areas in the world. A major appeal and popularity is for a day-trip or short break customers travelling to the countryside on local or regional journeys. The majority of British customers are regional, but that is because there is a national motorway network, with limited rail access, there are also many national domestic tourists. Countryside events such as fetes and agricultural shows are also popular. Many are promoted on television and are especially attracted to the family visitor and international tourist, because of their link to local cultural heritage.
In general British countryside has a good image and reputation. But it has suffered seriously from the 'Foot and Mouth Disease' and competition with city attractions and cheap holidays abroad, especially a seaside product market. The countryside attracts particular interest groups such as schools, educational groups, senior citizens with more time, and enthusiasts of outdoor recreation.
Design and technology of countryside
The natural landscape can be protected by managing and controlling access, building, roads, picnic areas, events and view points. Agricultural processors such as drainage, choice of crops, can also be controlled to help protect the nature and appearance of local environments. The location of entrances, exits, car parks, catering facilities, accommodation, can all be design to fit in to natural environment and to limit negative impact.
Many rural villages have local government planning control to limit manmade environments, so they are based on local materials and construction methods which help maintain local crafts and traditions, e.g. Cotsworlds, Yorkshire Grystone welsh stone built walls are features of the British countryside that have been protected. Design and technology is also very important for the health and safety and security of access to outdoor recreation, involving water, rivers, lakes and costal areas, mountains with dangerous rock features, isolated areas and countryside that needs to be protected from the dangers of fire or manmade pollution.
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