Quiet enjoyment in the National Parks of England and Wales: public understanding of the term and its influence on attitudes towards recreational activities
Authors: Miller, L.R., Dickinson, J.E. and Pearlman-Hougie, D.J.
Journal: Leisure Studies
In response to concerns raised since the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 established the National Parks, the National Parks Review Panel (1991) recommended that the term 'quiet enjoyment' be included in the Environment Bill to clarify the wording of the second purpose for National Parks. During parliamentary debate the term was removed, and some have subsequently claimed that this weakened the Environment Act 1995. This article describes the outcomes of a survey to establish the nature of public understanding of the terms 'quiet enjoyment' and 'quiet recreation' and to identify the nature of incidents perceived as interfering with 'quiet enjoyment' and 'quiet recreation'. The results indicate that the terms 'quiet enjoyment' and 'quiet recreation' hold different meanings for the public, with 'quiet enjoyment' being a broader and more emotive concept than 'quiet recreation'. However, despite differences in meaning of the two terms, similar factors were reported as interfering with both 'quiet enjoyment' and 'quiet recreation'. Respondents were also asked about the perceived acceptability of a range of activities within National Parks, and about their own involvement in those activities. Links were found between perceived compatibility of recreational activities with the terms 'quiet enjoyment/quiet recreation' and their acceptance in National Parks. Those surveyed viewed some restrictions on activities as necessary.
Preferred by: Janet Dickinson