The design of the visit

So far in this chapter the issue of design concepts most appropriate to the landscape setting has been considered, and how this contributes to the experience a visitor might expect. This issue should also be turned around and considered from the visitor's point of view. What do visitors expect from their visit to the outdoors, particularly in the facilities, help and information provided, to help them obtain the best experience and to persuade them to return Many of the perceived problems that...

Appraisal of opportunities

As part of the initial recreation planning, a survey or inventory of the landscape should be carried out. The area can be classified into areas of particular visual characteristics based on the landform and vegetation types, presence of water, land use, cultural heritage and so on. Special note should be made of sensitive places, those with fragile soils and vegetation, the presence of rare plants or wildlife that are easily disturbed, or where there are dangers of rock fall, avalanche or steep...

Chapter Seven Picnicking

Having completed the preliminary requirements on arrival, visitors are now ready to enjoy themselves. While they are free to hike, fish, sail or whatever, many people will wish to have something to eat. This usually means a picnic of some sort, perhaps with a fire or stove to boil water for coffee or tea, cook freshly caught fish or grill some steak. To many people it also means finding a picnic table and establishing a base from which other activities may begin. Behaviour of people in an open...

The purpose of this book and its audience

Some of these themes will be explored further in this book, because they pose real challenges for the designer. The major message is that the outdoors offers particular qualities and benefits for people, which have evolved and become recognized over the past two and a half centuries. Today's demands can also cause adverse effects on certain landscapes, habitats and wildlife where outdoor recreation and nature tourism occur, and can place burdens on those who use and manage land. It is vital...

What is recreation and why is it important

Outdoor recreation and its cousin, nature tourism, are the big growth areas in leisure and holiday activities today. As the populations of most Western countries become more urbanized, and as work becomes less and less connected with the land, many more people are seeking to regain a connection with nature and with wild landscapes. There are many reasons for visiting and exploring the great outdoors physical exercise, release from the stresses of city life, fresh air, getting closer to nature,...

The Recreation Opportunity Spectrum

The ROS takes as its major premise the fact that recreation is more than just the activity, such as hiking, fishing and camping, in which people participate. It also includes the quality of the specific setting in which that activity takes place. This was alluded to in the introduction, and may seem to be common sense. Yet to incorporate this concept will not only raise the standard of experience gained by people but will help the designer and manager to refine the match of activities to...

Chapter Five Parking the car

Having arrived at the destination, the visitor needs to park the car. The design of car parking has to take several factors into account. - Cars may be left on the site for some time if visitors go off to hike a trail or do some other activity. Security of the car and its contents from theft, shade in hot weather, and the prevention of accidental damage from other car park users, ensure that the car will be protected until the occupants return. If people feel that their car is safe they will...

The medium

To convey the message, a medium is required. There are two main possibilities leaflets or signboards. Leaflets are an important alternative or supplement to fixed signs. They can be reprinted annually with up-to-date information. As they are carried around by the visitors, they can be easily referred to at any time. Their preparation requires skill in graphic design and printing techniques, for which expert advice should normally be sought. A fixed signboard, if chosen as the medium, needs to...

A design philosophy for the outdoors

Arguably, it is therefore important to maintain and reflect the character of the landscapes in the design of facilities and artefacts, while providing many functions that are the same as those needed at home, as well as reinforcing the contrast between the city and the more natural landscapes of the outdoors. However, it is possible to develop designs that are more redolent of the stylized settings of Tolkien or Disney than those reflecting the real qualities of nature. This must be avoided, as...

Chapter Six Toilet facilities

Toilet Facilities For Outdoor Recreation

Once the visitors have parked their car, it is frequently a call to the toilets that is next on the list of priorities. If it has been a long journey to the site the urge to respond to the call will probably be acute for any children present. The presence of a clean and well-ventilated toilet block in such circumstances is very welcome. Whether to provide toilet facilities, the capacity and the type of sewage disposal required as well as the design of the building are all important decisions to...