Tranquil areas mapping

Longslade. Credit Barry Whitcher

Tranquil Areas Mapping

A new Tranquil Areas study was carried out in 2014/15 to map the different levels of tranquillity across the National Park. It was based on a set of nationally accepted criteria, but customised to take into account particular circumstances in the New Forest.

All parts of the National Park were assessed, looking at the impacts on tranquillity of roads, railways, built up areas, pylons, airports and recreational activity.  

The resulting Tranquil Areas Map shows six levels of tranquillity, from level E (most tranquil) to most highly disturbed area. It clearly indicates the influence of the major roads and the larger settlements, while the most tranquil areas are those which are more remote and less easily accessed.

dGround-truthing

The initial mapping was checked ‘on the ground’ by volunteers from a number of local organisations (see right). They visited 100 locations across the Park during June and July 2014 and gave each site a tranquillity rating according to given criteria. Their findings led to a number of final adjustments to the map.

Uses of the Tranquil Areas mapping

The precise methodology used to create the mapping will allow repeat studies in the future, showing how tranquillity is changing over time and the main influencing factors involved.

The map will also help in making planning decisions and will be one of the factors taken into account when looking at recreation management in the National Park.

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