Landscape Conservation ENVS1

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Landscape Conservation for Informal Public Recreation - ENVS1

  • increased affluence, leisure time, car owners -> people are spending more time in the countryside -> important to conserve landscape

Landscape protection

  • conserving aesthetic appeal
  • maintenance of natural features/features produced by human activities
  • eg. woodlands/hedgerows/stone walls/in-field trees/ditches/ponds
  • some protected by preventing damaging activites
  • others need active management -> counteract natural processes (eg. ecological succession)

Landscape enhancement

  • planting small woodland areas
  • replacing conifers with mixed indigenous species
  • 'soft' riverbank management
  • restoration of river meanders

Visitor management

  • careful provision of facilities that do not damage the countryside
  • eg. paths/car parks/information points/recreational facilities
  • can be designed to fit into surroundings -> traditional designs, local materials
  • paths made of sand/gravel/stone
  • buildings/signs made of wood
  • car parks divided up with hedgesto disguise their size, and protective matting grass instead of tarmac
  • people will usually stay near the facilities available to them - the honeypot sites (areas that are attractive to visitors) -> protects sensitive wildlife sites and prevents disturbance
  • a honeypot site could include a visitors centre, cafe, toilets, guided walks

Governmental Organisations

Natural England/ Countryside Council for Wales

  • desginate areas for landscape conservation
  • set up controls/regulations -> must be followed by landowners/other users
  • protects against undesirable change
  • damaging changes prevented -> clearance of woodlands/urban expansion
  • beneficial management activities are carried out -> grazing meadows/moorlands to stop ecological succession and maintain the plagioclimax

National Parks

  • the original 10 National Parks in UK were established in the 1950s following the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act (1949) -> a response to growing demand for public access to the countryside
  • designated by Natural England (see above)
  • AIMS:
    • to conserve and enhance their natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage
    • to promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment
    • to maintain the rural economy
  • as they do not own the National Parks, the National Park Authority (organisation that runs a National Park) manage them by controlling the activites of landowners through planning  and development restricitions and management agreements
  • despite the aims being to protect and conserve, some controversial developments have taken place that seem to contradict the aims -> these are usually justified as being for the 'greater national good'
  • Some examples:
    • military training
    • reservoirs (flooding threatens habitats)
    • quarrying
    • conifer plantations
    • tourism developments
    • nuclear power stations/hydro electric power/wind farms
  • There are also conflicts of interest within the National Parks:
    • erosion - large numbers of people walking/cyclists/horse riders - soil erosion
      • can be prevented by directing visitors away from vulnerable areas or using resistant suraces for paths -> gravel, wood
    • congestion - large numbers of visitors in cars cause traffic congestion and increase pollution
      • encouraged use of public transport or bikes
    • disturbance of wildlife - trampled vegetation/ disruption of ground nesting birds, repeated disturbance can cause breeding failure
      • restricted access of vulnerable areas
    • litter - can cause livestock/wildlife to choke, become entangled and be injured   -> broken glass can

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