Exeter University study – 270 million visits made to English coastlines each year

BlueHealth researchers at Exeter University have conducted research which has revealed that around 270  million recreational visits are made to the English coast annually. The study showed that most people go to the coast for relaxation and social reasons.

The majority of the visits – around 12o m in total – were for walking, with or without a dog. Other activities in the top 5 were sunbathing/paddling, eating or drinking out and playing with children. The research throws up some interesting insights into our use of the coast, including demography and socio-economic factors.

The lead author of the study, Dr Lewis Elliott, Environmental Psychologist at the University of Exeter, said:

We know that blue spaces can deliver significant benefits to health, wellbeing and the economy, yet no previous research has rigorously attempted to estimate their popularity for recreation, or considered the benefits they may have for public health. Our estimates have, for the first time, been able to quantify the importance of our beaches and coasts and we hope they will help planners make more informed decisions when considering the management of these natural spaces.”

To find out more about this research and to read the paper, which has been published in the journal ‘Marine Policy’, follow this link.


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