Visitors' attitudes towards wind farms : a study of the English Lake District National Park
Shepherd, David William Reuben
Master of Environmental Studies
DisciplineOutdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism
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The tourism industry is one of the largest in the world. Many nations derive considerable economic gain from tourism markets. At the same time, many nations are pushing for the development of newer greener sources of energy while not understanding the impact this could have on the tourism industry. The Lake District National Park represents the crowning jewel in the United Kingdom's national park system. With an estimated 12 million visitors a year and over 46,000 permanent residents, the Lake District is one of the United Kingdom's busiest parks. Like many natural areas around the world the Lake District has seen an increase in the number of wind farm proposals.There has been an increase in the number of negative reactions to these proposals; partly as a result of presumed negative effects on visitors to the area. The extent to which this opposition is based on evidence is unclear. This study examines the attitudes of visitors towards wind farms, their level of knowledge and their willingness to return if wind farms were to be constructed on the fringes of the Lake District National Park. The development of a scale with a sole purpose of divulging the visitors' attitudes, positive or negative, is the first step to fully understanding the effect that potential developments will have, not only on the geographic landscape, but also on the visitors to the area.