The development of sustainable, multi-functional landscapes in rural areas: a case study of a Norfolk Broads river valley

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Environmental Sciences


The Norfolk Broads is a unique and fragile landscape, truly multifunctional in providing wildlife habitat, recreational space, food and other materials, and employment. Recreational and tourism use of the area is likely to grow, but development and land use change to support this must be carefully managed to keep the multiple functions of the landscape in balance and ensure sustainability.

The Ant Valley will be used as a case study. Likely developments will be forecast, with input from relevant interest groups, and initial scenarios showing possible changes over the next 10 years will be formulated. The likely effects of these scenarios will then be assessed. Measures of biodiversity and ecosystem function will be examined, including ways in which tourism and recreation developments could enhance them. The effects on the local rural economy, through visitor numbers and tourism spending, changes to farm incomes, and valuation of ecosystem services, will also be examined. These sets of information will be combined to give an overview of the likely costs and benefits associated with the scenarios, which will be presented back to stakeholders to assess the scenarios' acceptability. The study will also assess the limitations of the methods involved in compiling the desired information.


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Description Recreational landscape functions/services within the area studied are negatively affected by poor connectivity of access routes.
Exploitation Route Connectivity of rural routes for a variety of recreational users (on foot, horse and bicycle) is important for increasing recreational activity in these areas but is poorly served by existing data. Improvements could benefit both local populations and visitors, in terms of both health/activity levels and tourism. These findings can be acted on by local authorities and other mapping agencies, to both improve data and then account for connectivity when reviewing access provision.
Sectors Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism

Description Using Google maps interface to collect spatial data - countryside recreation survey 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The HTML/Javascript code for data collection, implementing Google Maps to collect spatial responses.

No notable impact that I am aware of.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011