Recreation Impact Study

PCF, utilising the expertise of environmental consultants GoBe, completed a project to map the potential risk to marine conservation features from recreational activities across the south west of Wales. Completed in 2019 this work provides a cumulative risk assessment of recreational risk to the marine environment and includes two marine protected areas as case studies.

Spatial data on marine recreation activities in Southwest Wales provides an unprecedented coverage of activity footprint, seasonal usage and temporal change through the Wales Activity Mapping (WAM) database. Developed by PCF, WAM provided an opportunity to carry out a pilot study to model and map the potential risk to marine conservation features. Informed through an initial literature review, this study has applied and adapted sensitivity matrices that were specifically developed for marine recreation activities, as produced for Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Natural England. Drawing on other spatial data provided by the Welsh Government on the distribution of marine habitats and Marine Protected boundaries for which mobile species are designated, the WAM tailored sensitivity matrix has been applied spatially to map the sensitivity of features where these physically overlap with activities.

This project aims to improve evidence-based decision making by key stakeholders and is crucial to ensure the long-term sustainability of recreation and tourism in the region, a sector that continues to increase in scale year by year.

Wales Activity Mapping Model Output:

Combined Feature-Activity Score

The figure shows one of the model outputs, displaying the score calculated from combining overlapping feature and activity sensitivities via a heat map. This method informs on the scale of potential impact considering cumulative impacts from all activities.

Please download the full report below for a detailed description.

Full Report

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