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Public access to the countryside: An exploration of the costs and benefits of farmland walking trails

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Author Info

  • Peter Howley

    ()
    (Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland)

  • Edel Doherty

    (Gibson Institute of Land, Food and the Environment, Queen’s University Belfast)

  • Cathal Buckley

    (Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland)

  • Stephen Hynes

    (Department of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland)

  • Tom van Rensburg

    (Department of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland)

  • Stuart Green

    (Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland)

Abstract

Despite the potential benefits accruing from use of the rural landscape access to farmland is a contentious issue with many landowners restricting public access. Within this context, this paper first explores general public preferences and willingness to pay for farmland walking trails in the Irish countryside. Second this paper examines farmers’ willingness to participate in a hypothetical walking scheme whereby the general public will be allowed access to specific trails. Results suggest that individuals are not a homogeneous group with regard to their preferences for farmland walking trails as there are significant differences between likely users and non-users. From a supply perspective results suggest that a significant number of landowners are willing to allow public access provided there is no personal cost to them. In addition, this paper identified significant regional variations in farmers’ attitudes relating to public access. More generally, the analysis presented here would suggest that there is significant scope for policy intervention to improve public access to the countryside.

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File URL: http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/rerc/downloads/workingpapers/10wpre06.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rural Economy and Development Programme,Teagasc in its series Working Papers with number 1006.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tea:wpaper:1006

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Postal: Athenry, Co Galway
Phone: +353 91 845845
Fax: +353 91 845847
Web page: http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/rerc/
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