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Author Findlay, C.; Southwell, K.; Ward Thompson, C.; Salheen, M.; Aspinall, P.,
Title The Effectiveness of Wayfinding Systems with Forest Users Type
Year 2002 Publication Monitoring and Management of Visitor Flows in Recreational and Protected Areas Abbreviated Journal (down)
Volume MMV 1 - Proceedings Issue Pages 328-334
Keywords MMV1
Abstract Forest wayfinding systems include the sources of information, content and presentation, that potential visitors use to find forest sites and maximise their experience of forest recreation. This paper presents original research from an on-going user-led study of signage at forest recreational sites across the UK, and is part-funded by the Forestry Commission. Research methods used in the study included structured interviews with forest users, a signage audit, observation-based behavioural studies and exploratory work with space syntax. The starting point for the study was an apparent low rating of satisfaction with road signs by visitors to Forestry Commission sites in annual visitor surveys. Signs are “…the most visible manifestation of corporate face” and function to “…provide reliable and accessible information to encourage and welcome visitors” (Forest Enterprise Signs Manual, 1997). Good signs also form part of a positive perception of woodlands (Burgess, 1995) and may be considered within the context of removing barriers to the use of the countryside by disabled people and socially excluded groups. The research found evidence that there were some problems with forest wayfinding, but that these problems are related more to the context, content and location of signs, rather than the materials and details of sign design. More consideration needs to be given to identifying the minimum but key information needs of users at key locations within the forest site. Signs are costly to design, construct, install and maintain, and a crucial concern must be to provide the minimum information for maximum benefit, based on what the user needs to know at each stage of the journey and forest experience. The study also highlighted the role of signage in site promotion, visitor expectations, conflicts between different user groups and accessibility of information. A model for signage to satisfy visitor information needs was developed. The results presented here cover phase 1 of the project and it is anticipated that the methodology developed during the research will have practical applications in evaluating and developing new signage systems, and the training of forest and other recreational site managers.
Call Number ILEN @ m.sokopp @ 512 Serial 2319
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