Category Design for Outdoor Recreation

Types of provision

The type of toilet described is based on the method of disposing of the sewage, and related requirements for the structure and other aspects of construction such as ventilation, washing facilities and so on. There are five possible options for sewage disposal, as follows.

Composting toilets

In these the toilet seat is set above a box or hole into which all sewage accumulates. If the moisture content can be kept reasonably low, for example by the addition of soil, ashes or bark, then the material breaks down into a relatively odour-free compost, which can be emptied from sewage receptacles at the back of the toilet building and safely disposed of in a suitable location.

There are various proprietary makes that have developed this type for relatively low-use sites...



The following list of references is related to the chapters where they are most relevant. It will be noted that there is a substantial body of work on recreation planning, quite a lot on interpretation but much less on design. Access for people with disabilities is also well covered. Many of the design references are in the form of handbooks, manuals or design detail sheets produced by various agencies for their own purposes.


Driver, Brown and Petersen (eds) (1991) Benefits of Leisure, Venture Publishing, State College, Pennsylvania.

Edington, J. M. and Edington, M. A. (1986) Ecology, Recreation and Tourism, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Gray, D. and Pellegrino, D. (1973) Reflections on the Recreation and Park Movement: A Book of Readings, Brown, Dubuque, Iowa.

Hill, ...


How well does the design work?

By following the route of a visitor, an assessment of how the site works from their point of view can be made. First, most people coming there will know about the site without much publicity, and they will probably have an idea of what to expect. Guidebooks, maps and leaflets tell them
about the rock and the view without the need to promote it fully. These are all available from a wide number of sources within the forest, or from tourist information centres, hotels and travel agents.

Подпись: The sketch design, showing the new layout, solution of problems and how the opportunities were taken up.

The approach to the site is through the landscape of the Forest of Dean, which contains villages, small industries and farmland as well as forest. The lanes are narrow and sunken, with occasional views out...


Design process

The managers felt it was imperative that a completely fresh look was given to the area. The brief was simply to improve the quality of experience for the 400 000 visitors and to protect and enhance the scheduled ancient monument and the surrounding woodland. This implied that the facilities should be expanded to cater for the existing demand but that no increase should be catered for. The site and its surroundings, the highways and nearby communities had reached saturation point.

A team was assembled to carry out the task of design and implementation, work being phased over two periods. The team consisted of a landscape architect, the local forester for the area, the land agent responsible for land use, a civil engineer and a building surveyor...


Location and history

Symonds Yat is a site in the former Royal Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England. It is managed by Forest Enterprise, the national forestry management agency in Britain, and is one of a number of recreation sites offering recreation in an ancient forest setting. It is probably the most heavily visited site in a British forest, and yet it is quite small in area. The main purpose of visiting Symonds Yat is to look at a dramatic view over the River Wye gorge. In addition, rock climbing, wildlife watching, picnicking and walking trails are other possible activities.

Symonds Yat rock has been an established tourist attraction since the eighteenth century. It was promoted by William Gilpin in 1782 and later espoused by William Wordsworth and the romantic poets...


Design phase

This is the creative phase, where the objectives and outcomes of the analysis interact. It requires imaginative, creative thinking to achieve an integrated and successful resolution of all the issues. The design team should consider a wide range of ideas in seeking both well-tried and original ways of solving problems and maximizing opportunities. Concepts are gradually refined into initial design options. The landscape architect may work up the concepts into feasible and costed layouts.

Once the initial design phase has been reached, it is important to test how it is likely to work for the prospective visitor. This can be done by the group’s using a checklist based on each stage of a visit, or by asking people less familiar with the design to imagine a visit, using the same checklist...


Stages of design

Once the brief is agreed with the client or client body, the typical stages of design are as follows.

Survey/inventory key

First, information is collected on:

– physical aspects of the site, such as landform, geology and soils; water movement; terrain slopes and stability;

– ecological aspects, such as plant communities; wildlife use; sensitive sites; habitat dynamics, such as fire or insect attacks; pollution risks.

– cultural aspects, including traditional recreational uses and history; heritage and archaeological remains; previous land use; aesthetic/landscape qualities;

– recreational aspects, such as the potential of the area; limitations on

carrying capacity; safety issues; environmental education potential, including interpretation.

Analysis phase

Here the implications of the inform...


. Comprehensive site. design

We have now described the sequence of events, decisions, activities and facilities that make up a visit to the outdoors. It is essential that each component is fitted together properly through the design process. While thinking this process through from the perspective of the visitor it is still necessary to take a wider view of the recreation area from the point of view of the manager and designer. It is not possible to design a visit step by step unless a broad view of the area is gained, providing a context and purpose into which the chosen facilities are inserted.

The brief

Site design needs to start with a brief. This contains a set of objectives, which should have emerged from the planning stage...


Art as interpretation

If one of the aims of interpretation as described above is to help visitors understand something of the spiritual meaning of the place, then all the earnest facts and explanation may not achieve this. However, there are ways in which it might be conveyed through poetry, prose and painting about the area, and the use of these elements in the displays. Another way is to use sculpture out in the landscape. If visitors come across sculpture along a trail it can evoke all sorts of questions and responses, and can often prompt an understanding of the spirit of a place. The use of sculpture in forests has been pioneered by the Forestry Commission in Britain for over 20 years.

At Grizedale Forest in Cumbria a partnership project was undertaken between the forest managers and Northern Arts, a gover...


Traditional or vernacular

There may be strong reasons for using traditional or vernacular forms, materials and construction in an area. There may be other buildings nearby, and too much contrast could look out of place. In many wilder places, pioneer or homestead style using local materials without a high level of finish can be entirely appropriate.

Neutral or non-domestic style

Here the building forms are derived from the shapes and character found in the landscape, such as rocks, landform and trees. Vertical emphasis can be given to the building in a forest or where there are steep mountains, while a horizontal emphasis is more suitable to flatter land, or near a lake or the sea. In this way the sculptural qualities of the building can reflect and interpret those found in the surrounding landscape.

The building s...