Outdoor recreation and place attachment: Exploring the potential of outdoor recreation within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Thomas Beery, K. Ingemar Jönsson

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22 Scopus citations


This study investigates outdoor recreation participation within a multifunctional landscape, a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve. The reserve, the Kristianstad Vattenrike located in southern Sweden, has made a deliberate effort to make the experience of biodiversity possible for residents and visitors. Recreation is a key part of the biodiversity conservation effort in the area, represented by the infrastructure of the Kristianstad Vattenrike's 21 visitor sites. Given the biosphere reserve context, this study investigates the question of whether there is a relationship between outdoor recreation participation and place attachment. Survey data was collected using concurrent application of multiple sampling strategies including both probability and purposive sampling of local adult residents of the biosphere area. Quantitative analysis showed a significant positive relationship between the level of outdoor recreation participation and place attachment. Qualitative data supported this relationship with more details about place attachment within the studied area. The study confirms a relationship between place attachment and outdoor recreation and provides insight into how the biosphere reserve context supports this relationship. The results of this study show that significant biodiversity management in close conjunction with outdoor recreational opportunity can be achieved and provides opportunities for human engagement and experience of biodiversity. Management Implications This research can help managers design recreational settings that support biodiversity conservation goals. Our research found that: • A leading motivation for outdoor recreation participation is nature experience and this motivation can be used by managers to highlight a biodiversity conservation interpretive message in the design of outdoor recreation infrastructure. • Providing proximate access to nature based outdoor recreation, to support deliberate and direct experience of biodiversity, is an important component of engaging the public in biodiversity conservation. • Recreation proximity alone will not create public engagement in biodiversity conservation. However, proximity as a part of a deliberate institutional design including biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, and logistic support for research and monitoring may be critical for public engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Biodiversity
  • Kristianstad Vattenrike Biosphere Area
  • Multifunctional landscape
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Place attachment
  • Proximate access


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