Draft criteria for judging recreation facilities, routes or organised activities
Judgements about the relative merits of different recreation sites, routes or organised activities (throughout and beyond the National Park) need to be based on agreed criteria.
The following lists are taken from a Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the six Recreation Management Strategy Steering Group organisations in 2015.
A site, route or activity is more likely to be supported if at least some of the following apply, i.e. if it:
a) is already popular, well-used, accepted and adequate for demand
b) is close to a residential area, campsite or public transport access point
c) is accessed via a good road network
d) has a short access track or robust surface in good condition
e) is well-maintained or easy to maintain
f) has no access limitations (e.g. steps/stiles) and few, if any, gates
g) already has facilities on site such as tracks, parking, buildings
h) has nearby services (power, water, phone) if these are needed
i) already has or is ideal for picnic area
j) is adjacent to or links with visitor spend opportunity
k) has toilets, shops, pubs etc. on site or on route
l) links different parts of the Forest or links settlements to each other or to places of interest or/and follows a natural desire line (resulting in little or no digression)
m) is within robust habitat (e.g. within a conifer plantation rather than ancient woodland or heathland)
n) has something of natural, cultural or landscape heritage interest nearby (e.g. view, building, ancient tree, monument, water body)
o) is screened by trees, scrub or physical features
p) has dual use for commoning activities (e.g. parking for drift)
q) has little or no history of anti-social behaviour, theft or vandalism
r) has security provided by nearby residents
s) has a long lease or agreement in place
t) serves a need not replicated nearby.
A site, route or activity is less likely to be supported if at least some of the following apply, i.e. if it:
a) encourages access to habitats where physical damage is likely (e.g. bog or mire, Forest pond or stream)
b) is likely to result in significant disturbance to wildlife, especially protected birds (e.g. on vulnerable coastal mudflat and saltmarsh, or open heathland)
c) causes impacts on rare and threatened species (e.g. wild gladioli, smooth snakes and southern damselflies)
d) has significant negative impacts on commoning activities
e) encourages intrusive impact on remote tranquil areas
f) is inappropriately expensive
g) has poor accessibility.
Note that the examples given above are not meant to be exhaustive and can be supplemented. For any new facilities, consideration would also be given to potential impacts during construction.