|1 Formal This takes place on managed sites and is often associated with profit-seeking organisations. Management may involve provision of special areas, zoning or rationing demand by entrance charges, a membership fee or imposing maximum numbers;|
|2 Informal. The countryside provides a backdrop to a range of activities, including recreational driving, walking and general sightseeing.|
Various general characteristics within society in the latter half of the twentieth century have produced increased opportunities for both types of leisure activity, notably greater affluence, increased personal mobility, and reduced and/or more flexible working arrangements. The growth in private ownership of cars and improvements in transport links between urban and rural areas have helped to direct a substantial proportion of this leisure towards the countryside, with urban residents attracted by the aesthetic qualities of the setting. This has produced both greater participation in traditional non-consuming rural pursuits (e.g. walking, nature study, sightseeing) and new activities that may utilise a specific rural resource (e.g. mountain biking, windsurfing) (Butler 1998). Many of the latter owe their increased popularity to a combination of greater affluence, ease of accessibility of rural areas to urban residents and technological developments that have been applied to sporting/leisure activity (Mieczkowski 1990). Some activities have also been relocated to the countryside to take advantage of cheaper greenfield sites, the pleasant surroundings and ease of access from multiple urban centres, e.g. golf courses, theme parks.
Another factor promoting increased rural recreation has been growing public concern for the environment and ‘green’ issues, promoting activities such as bird watching and nature study in general. The growth of rural-based ecotourism is part of this trend. A wider appreciation of the attractions of rural locales can be seen in the