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Title: 'If you build it, they will come' : the origins of Scotland's country parks
Author: Back, Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 3584
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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Country parks emerged as a designated landscape type in the UK following legislation in the 1960s. Conceived initially as a solution to damaging impacts on the scenic and working countryside from visiting motorists, they were a response to alarmist forecasts of trends that would exacerbate these problems further. Although often mentioned in discussion of countryside policy, country parks have never been examined in depth in Scotland, where the applicability of this policy has generally been either ignored, or conflated with the experience of England & Wales. Yet recreational need in Scotland was very different, and requires specific examination, as does the solution provided. This thesis uses archive material, together with contemporary commentary, to explore countryside recreation policy in Scotland in the later twentieth century. It considers whether the factors influencing legislation in England & Wales were germane to Scotland as well, and whether the emergent Scottish policy reflected Scotland's distinctive needs. The thesis explores the creation of the Countryside Commission for Scotland and the expectations placed upon it, together with its fundamental weaknesses. It examines the implementation of country park policy in Scotland, the difficulties caused by the weak evidence base, and the ways in which policy was developed, amended and even subverted to ensure that visible results were achieved. It explores several issues of scholarly debate on countryside recreation, providing a Scottish perspective on these. The analysis demonstrates the need for clarity in policy-making and the intrinsic weakness of a 'blank sheet of paper' approach, the importance of aligning accountabilities with appropriate powers, the need to integrate policy across related areas of operation, and the value of defining and monitoring 'success'. It thus provides not only an insight into historic recreation and open space policy but also more general understanding of Scotland's history in the pre-devolution period.
Supervisor: Shaw, James ; Nic Dháibhéid, Caoimhe Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available