Visitor perceptions of rural landscapes : a case study in the Peak District National Park, England
Maintaining national parks is an integral policy tool to conserve rare habitats. However, because national parks are funded by taxpayers, they must also serve the needs of the general public. Increasingly, and thanks to today’s diverse society, there is evidence that this creates challenges for park managers who are pulled in two opposing directions: to conserve nature on the one hand and to meet different visitor expectations on the other. This tension was explored in the Peak District National Park, a rural landscape
dominated by heather moorland and sheep farming in Northern England where research was conducted to determine how social class and ethnicity shaped perceptions of the park. Results uncovered that social class played a very strong role in shaping perceptions of this region with ‘middle class’ respondents reacting far more favourably to the park than people from more working class backgrounds.We observed ethnicity playing a similar role, though our results are less significantly different.