For at least half a century since the emergence of Country Parks and Forest Parks, countryside services have provided leisure, tourism, conservation, restoration and regeneration across Britain. Yet these services are currently being decimated as public services are sacrificed to the new era of austerity.
The role and importance of countryside management have been barely documented, and the consequences and ramifications of cuts to these services are overlooked and misunderstood. This volume rigorously examines the issues surrounding countryside management in Britain. The author brings together the results of stakeholder workshops and interviews, and in-depth individual case studies, as well as a major study for the Countryside Agency which assessed and evaluated every countryside service provision in England. A full and extensive literature review traces the ideas of countryside management back to their origins, and the author considers the wider relationships and ramifications with countryside and ranger provisions around the world, including North America and Europe.
The book provides a critical overview of the history and importance of countryside management, detailing the achievements of a largely forgotten sector and highlighting its pivotal yet often underappreciated role in the wellbeing of people and communities. It serves as a challenge to students, planners, politicians, conservationists, environmentalists, and land managers, in a diversity of disciplines that work with or have interests in countryside, leisure and tourism, community issues, education, and nature conservation.