Access to the countryside of England and Wales: popular leisure; commodified culture
Ravenscroft, N. (1994) Access to the countryside of England and Wales: popular leisure; commodified culture. Working Papers in Land Management & Development. 17/94. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp19.
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Risk and uncertainty are, to say the least, poorly considered by most individuals involved in real estate analysis - in both development and investment appraisal. Surveyors continue to express 'uncertainty' about the value (risk) of using relatively objective methods of analysis to account for these factors. These methods attempt to identify the risk elements more explicitly. Conventionally this is done by deriving probability distributions for the uncontrolled variables in the system. A suggested 'new' way of "being able to express our uncertainty or slight vagueness about some of the qualitative judgements and not From its modern origins, associated with the urbanising effect of industrialisation, walking has remained a popular form of outdoor recreation. It has, furthermore, remained an important site of class struggle, with the 'landless' seeking to establish their moral 'citizen' right to roam over open country in contradistinction to the 'landed', who have successfully limited this right to legally-defined public rights of way. In the face of declining farm incomes, however, farmers and landowners have, apparently, modified their attitudes towards public access, but only in return for compensation and management payments under grant schemes such as Countryside Stewardship and the Countryside Premium Scheme. With the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food now seeking to extend paid access arrangements to other grant schemes, as part of its response to the European Union's Agri-Environment Regulations, access 'rights' are assuming an increasingly commodified form, thereby questioning, if not undermining, the former citizen claims. For rather than being a benefit of citizenship, the existence of limited, often poorly maintained and inadequately signposted, public rights of way has tied inextricably the extension of legally-enforceable access to the needs of the landowners and farmers. At a time of falling prosperity in agriculture, therefore, they have now exercised their discretion by annexing the populism of consumer culture to reproduce the bourgeois liberal values of the market as a principal determinant of the extension of citizen rights of access to the countryside.
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