During the summer of 2015, Plymouth University carried out a pilot study covering four areas in Cornwall called ‘Landscape Connections and Perceptions’ in collaboration with the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The study aims to find out how people perceive the Cornish landscape, and to promote people’s health and wellbeing by enabling visits to local landscapes.
Detail of aims
• To ascertain differences in how rural landscapes are perceived by people who inhabit them and also those living in neighbouring towns.
• To understand the barriers that prevent residents accessing local landscapes.
• To make recommendations on how these barriers can be overcome to create positive social and health benefits.
• To investigate differences in people’s perceptions of different landscape types.
• To find the locations of people’s favourite views, and why they are popular.
Data is collected using a new app and geocaching. The app, Rate My View, enables people to upload digital photos of their favourite views and comment on them. On finding the geocaches, people can take photographs, record natural sounds and leave comments.
• Wadebridge–Padstow Cycle Path – Estuarine woodland
• St Anthony’s Head – Coastal woodland, Coastal headland, Coastal farmland
• Bodmin Moor – Upland inland moorland, Upland reservoir
• Crenver Grove – Inland woodland, Inland farmland
About Rate My View and Geocaching
‘Rate My View’ is an innovative new free app (iOS and Android) developed by Plymouth University and South Devon AONB. It assists with landscape management, protection and planning by gathering photos of landscapes and seascapes taken by visitors on smartphones or tablets, which are automatically uploaded to the website. GPS technology pinpoints the user’s location and detects the direction the user is facing.
The trails of geocaches have been placed at a variety of locations covering different landscape types in the study areas and will soon be active on www.geocaching.com. Questionnaires are also being distributed in towns close to the study areas.
Lucy Green’s pupils from Garras CP School, Helston, helped to hide the caches in the different landscapes at Crenver Grove during as part of their Forest School.
I am helping to facilitate the design work of Plymouth University’s study through TAGSCAPE mapping processes and will add information here as the project progresses. People’s views, opinions, responses to the questionnaire and photos are vital to the project’s success.
‘Landscape Connections and Perceptions’ is funded through the European Social Fund.