Forests for All? Considering the Conservation Implications of Human-Species Interactions in the Context of Multifunctional Forestry

  • Mariella Marzano
  • Christopher P. Quine
  • Norman Dandy
Part of the Forestry Sciences book series (FOSC, volume 81)


People and wildlife interact in many ways and recently there has been increased recognition that forests have multiple uses and management objectives providing opportunities for recreation, education, conservation and enhancement of biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and the production of timber and fuel. Whilst many benefits can perhaps be delivered simultaneously, there is potential for conflict between these objectives. In this chapter we focus on the possibly contradictory objectives of recreation and conservation. Forests are increasingly places where human-wildlife interactions occur through recreational activities such as walking, cycling, nature-watching, and general visits to relax, play and/or picnic. The pursuit of outdoor recreational activities can have substantial human benefits including improved mental and physical health; and there is evidence to suggest that positive recreational experiences are associated with natural [forest] settings where there is an opportunity to see or hear wildlife.

Public forest managers are charged with concurrently delivering broad ecological, social and economic benefits, which requires that they must, amongst other things, balance the impacts of public access for recreation with the requirement to conserve biological diversity. In the UK, the relatively recent focus on the ‘multifunctionality’ of the forest resource suggests that a strong evidence base is needed to inform decision-making regarding the balance and trade-offs between different functions. This chapter explores the key issues around human-species interactions in forests providing evidence on ecological impacts, but also highlighting major knowledge gaps on the social practices and attitudes tied to recreational activities and how these may be linked to greater awareness of wildlife, habitats and their needs. While the majority of evidence is based at the site level, we argue that assessment of the interactions between recreation and conservation should also take place at landscape scale to facilitate the wider provision of public benefits.


Recreational Activity Sustainable Forest Management Road Vehicle Outdoor Recreation Mountain Bike 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariella Marzano
    • 1
  • Christopher P. Quine
    • 1
  • Norman Dandy
    • 1
  1. 1.FR-NRS, Roslin & Alice Holt LodgeFarnhamUK

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