The CRN is “a Network covering the UK and Republic of Ireland. CRN gives easy access to information and people concerned with countryside and recreation related matters. The Network reaches a variety of organisations and individuals in the statutory, private and public sectors. Exchanging and sharing information to develop best policy and practice in countryside recreation.” http://www.countrysiderecreation.org.uk .
Given below is a selection of bike-related articles in CRN’s journal, Countryside Recreation Network News. I’ve left out those relating to old schemes or legislation. The website only goes back to Vol 8. I’ve got the ones going back to Vol 3.
First, some things to remember:
- There are lies, damn lies and statistics. It’s not the answer it’s the question. You can get people to agree black is white if you word things the right way.
- There aren’t many ‘professional’ journals in countryside management and even fewer articles written about cycling never mind mountain biking. So if consultants start putting up facts and figures there is a chance they have come from these articles or ones referenced.
- Time marches on. Some of these articles are getting on for a decade old. We’re on Volume 14 now.
- This list is designed to give a flavour of what happens the other side of the fence – its not gospel. Countryside management myths can started and scotched here!!!
- The articles aren’t heavy going, the technical pieces in IMBA UK’s Trails newsletter could easily feature in CRN. Perhaps they should – spread the word and all that.
- Other sources of information are out there!
The CRN News articles can all be found from the link: http://www.countrysiderecreation.org.uk/journal/
There is also a searchable research data base which flags up reports: http://www.countrysiderecreation.org.uk/research/
The sponsors section gives an outline who’s who of countryside organisations: http://www.countrysiderecreation.org.uk/sponsors.asp
Some back issues to look at
- Vol 3 No 2 – Countryside Access a Commodity to Sell
- Vol 4 No 1 – Mountainbiking
- Vol 5 No 2 – Monitoring the monitors (p10), Tourism in Partnership (p18)
- Vol 6 No 1 – Forestry Commission Visitor Surveys (Explained)
- Vol 7 No 2 – Integrated Transport and Tourism Recreational Cycling (p2) Les Lumsden
- Vol 8 No 2 – Whole issue looks at access
- Vol 8 No 3 – Exploring Nottinghamshire by bike (p6)
- Vol 8 No 4 – Whole Issue looks at funding
- Vol 9 No 1 – Whole issue looks at Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
- Vol 9 No 3 – Whole issue looks at Foot and Mouth. The crisis that’s really shaped what is happening in the countryside now. Everybody started getting very excited about the economic impact of recreation. Something the mountain bike community already knew quiet a bit about – Coed y Brennin and all that. Anyway the economic crisis wouldn’t have been half as bad is the government understood what people perceive the countryside to be. It’s more than just footpaths to joe / jo public – the average countryside visitor wants a brew, a view and a loo. Not long walks – around 300m ish is fine! Say to a Londoner the countryside is shut they won’t go outside the M25 let alone cross the Watford Gap. Say it to you’re average rural villager and they’ll just stay off the footpaths etc – which is all anyone wanted them to do.
- Vol 9 No 2 – Countryside Access: Strategic Planning, Co-ordination and Agri-environment schemes
- Vol 10 No 3 – Recreational Purpose of National Parks
- Vol 11 No 1 – Linking National Trust Properties
- Vol 11 No 2 – Managing Visitor Safety (p10) READ THIS
- Vol 12 No 1 – Whole issue looks at the economics of recreation
- Vol 12 No 3 – Whole issue looks at ‘built facilities’. FC talks about 7stanes and Nevis Range about developments at Fort William. Rant prevention warning - read it as it’s meant: for people who know little or nothing about mountain biking.
- Vol 13 No 1 – Whole issue looks at health and wellbeing. Some of the stuff can be heavy going but worth a look if only for the graphs on P4 that ‘scientifically’ prove going to Glentress or Afan makes you a very happy bunny indeed. Much happier than walkers but not as much as fishermen!
- Vol 13 No 2 – Whole issue looks at motorised recreation. Validating the viewpoints of rights of way officers managing byways (Worth a read). Responses to the articles in this issue are in Vol 13 No 3 p23 onwards
- Vol 13 No 3 – CPD and training for countryside staff. Read if you ever fancied a job in countryside management. Read if you’re a PROW and access nerd who wants to find out about training needs for PROW and Access staff in Wales. It looks at what would make life better for them.
- Vol 14 No 1 – Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics. Response given in Vol 14 No 2 p36.
- Vol 14 No 2 – Whole issue looks at activity tourism. So, we’re all enthusiastic dabblers then!
These cost money! The index of workshops is at http://www.countrysiderecreation.org.uk/publications/ . The index shows who presented what in each conference. For example the visitor safety conference had a paper presented by some bloke called Paddy Harrop! So you’ll learn as much if not more from IMBA’s people. All the workshops consist of are people who have run a project talking about their experiences.
- ‘And Your Evidence is’ – evaluation frameworks
- Funding for Social Projects
- Fundraising and the lottery
- Visitor Safety in the Countryside
- Demonstrating the economic value of countryside recreation
- Public Rights of Way Improvement Plans
The following aren’t CRN publications, but you could order them from your library – cheaper than buying. There are probably newer editions now.
- The Complete Guide to Creating and Managing New Projects for Charities and Voluntary Organisations – Alan Lawrie (1996) – Published by the Directory Of Social Change
- The Complete Fundraising Handbook 3rd Edition – Sam Clarke & Michael Norton (1997) – Published by the Directory of Social Change