The Rise and Fall of Countryside Management: A Historical Account, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Rise and Fall of Countryside Management

A Historical Account, 1st Edition

By Ian D. Rotherham


352 pages | 77 B/W Illus.

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For at least half a century since the emergence of Country Parks and Forest Parks, countryside services have provided leisure, tourism, conservation, restoration and regeneration across Britain. Yet these services are currently being decimated as public services are sacrificed to the new era of austerity.

The role and importance of countryside management have been barely documented, and the consequences and ramifications of cuts to these services are overlooked and misunderstood. This volume rigorously examines the issues surrounding countryside management in Britain. The author brings together the results of stakeholder workshops and interviews, and in-depth individual case studies, as well as a major study for the Countryside Agency which assessed and evaluated every countryside service provision in England. A full and extensive literature review traces the ideas of countryside management back to their origins, and the author considers the wider relationships and ramifications with countryside and ranger provisions around the world, including North America and Europe.

The book provides a critical overview of the history and importance of countryside management, detailing the achievements of a largely forgotten sector and highlighting its pivotal yet often underappreciated role in the wellbeing of people and communities. It serves as a challenge to students, planners, politicians, conservationists, environmentalists, and land managers, in a diversity of disciplines that work with or have interests in countryside, leisure and tourism, community issues, education, and nature conservation.


"This is the most definitive account of our sector's development we have ever seen. It should be an essential read for students and all countryside managers and rangers." Dan Barnett, Chairman Countryside Management Association.

"This is a fascinating, comprehensive, timely and critical review of our use and management of the countryside." Bill Blackledge, Chartered Landscape Architect, The Landscape Institute.

"Follow the fortunes of the rise and fall of countryside management across the UK, from one period of austerity after the Second World War to the current contemporary interpretation of hard economic times. This volume addresses what it has meant in enabling public outdoor spaces to be well managed and enjoyed. The historical account of public sector interventions in countryside management over the last 70 years paints a picture of adaptation and deftness to such changing fortunes. It shows how, to deal with challenges over this period, those working in this field have been highly creative and innovative.

For someone who has been involved for the last 40 years, Ian’s research and insights brought back many good memories. These recollections were of comradeship and finding practical solutions in a collaborative way and this book deserves to be read." Jo Burgon, Chairman Outdoor Recreation Network.

"This is a really valuable reference volume bringing together an interesting literature from peer reviewed journals and New Naturalist volumes to conference proceedings and legal instruments" - David Walton, Bulletin of the British Ecological Society.

Table of Contents


Hazel N. Thomas

1. The History and Development of Countryside Management in Britain

2. Country Parks and Forest Parks

3. Delivering Countryside Services

4. Countryside Management Areas, Projects and Services

5. Case Studies of Countryside Services

6. Becoming a Profession

7. Education, Training and Engaging the Community

8. A Positive Economic Impact

9. Transforming Landscapes, Places and People

10. Trails and Tribulations – Managing Countryside Access

11. A New Millennium

12. Decline and Fall

13. Countryside Services – A Global Perspective

14. The Wider Policy Context

15. Issues and Opportunities for Countryside Services

16. Concluding Thoughts and the Future

About the Author

Ian D. Rotherham is Professor of Environmental Geography and Reader in Tourism and Environmental Change at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection
NATURE / Ecosystems & Habitats / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General