Perceptions of Outdoor Sports by Protected Areas Managers

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The SEE Project aims to create a more sustainable approach to outdoor sports and recreation through education. Last year, through a European-wide survey, information was gathered on the perceptions of Outdoor Sports by Protected Area Managers. The results are available now.

EUROPARC wants to thank all our members that took the time to fill out this survey! The results will contribute to the preparation of a toolkit for outdoor sports trainers and educators. The toolkit will help effectively educate practitioners into more sustainable, respectful and enjoyable experience of being active in nature.

The “BeActive, BeOutdoors, BeResponsible” report provides an initial analysis of the data collected. There is also a summary available for different types of outdoor sports.

KEY FINDINGS: Perceptions about Outdoor Sports by Protected Areas Managers

  • Most Protected Areas indicated selected hiking (88.3%), mountain biking (57.5%), cycling (53.2%), running/orienteering (50%) and horse riding (39,2%) as the top 5 most practised outdoor sports.
  • The most consistent issues throughout the majority of habitats were perceived to be linked to hiking and were namely issues with unleashed dogs, and in mountain biking where conflicts with other users and practice in restricted areas were usually perceived as the most prominent issues.
  • 70% of the respondents indicated that they monitor or estimate visitors numbers and 55% follow a visitor management plan but only 9% held the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST).
  • 97% of all the respondents have implemented some kind of regulation to manage outdoor sports.
  • Overall, 66% of respondents stated that outdoor sports in their Protected Area are linked to better awareness of nature and environmental issues, and 65% believe that their Protected Area is more valued by outdoor sports practitioners.

The survey was filled out by 94 Protected Areas from 24 countries. You can read a summary, the full report or a summary per outdoor sport category here:

Read the report!

The SEE project is an extensive collaboration with partners from across Europe. It has received funding from the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union.

Are you a practitioner of outdoor sports? Or a Protected Area that wants to raise awareness on proper behaviour? Then have a look at the 10 Good Principles for Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas that EUROPARC developed together with ENOS.

10 good principles for outdoor sports