||Surveying the use made of the wider countryside for recreation is problematic due to the scale of the area to be covered. In particular the distribution, numbers and activities of countryside visitors are difficult to ascertain using conventional methodologies such as questionnaires and counters. This paper describes an observational methodology that has been used investigate recreational activity in a 466 square kilometre area of Mid Wales. The results illustrate the countryside resources that are being utilised, the activities undertaken and the number of people involved. It is concluded that observation is a valuable tool in understanding the nature of recreation in the wider countryside.