chapter  22
11 Pages

How class shapes perceptions of nature: Implications for managing visitor perceptions in upland UK


In our increasingly urbanised world, human communities have transformed natural environments. During different historical periods, this has led to a concern that natural areas are being destroyed and an impulse to protect them from development. For example, concurrent with the industrial revolution was a reaction in Britain against industrial development that romanticised the world of nature and led to significant policy changes to protect green spaces (Bunce, 1994). Many of these policies (such as establishing green belts around cities and creating national parks) have spread across the world and been strengthened in many places during the twentieth century. As a result, most Western countries today boast a system of national parks in which areas of outstanding beauty are protected from development. These parks, however, create an interesting dilemma since they are inevitably a reflection of the beliefs, values and desires of those in power at the time of their creation. In the UK, this generally means that England’s national parks were established in places that affluent, university-educated white people deemed important in the middle of the twentieth century. While this may have been representative of the aims of those in power at that time, today’s urbanised and multi-cultural society means that we may need to reconsider the way we think about management.