'Tranquillity' is a key motivator in attracting visitors to the UK's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This popularity means that managing organisations must ensure that development is sensitive to ecological, social and economic interests whilst also fulfilling their duty for providing quiet enjoyment of the countryside. Key to addressing not only these objectives, but also enhancing the specific cultural and natural landscapes that define these IUCN Category V protected areas, is the definition of 'tranquillity'.
However, defining and then interpreting tranquillity into practice is complex. It is a highly subjective concept and given statutes assert breadth of rightholder and stakeholder engagement in the formulation of policy, in planning decisions and with best practice the community's engagement is considered critical, the sheer number of views on what is/not considered to be tranquil is infinite. As such, the challenge concerns: just how do you capture and importantly use the breadth of views on the subject?
The Broadly Engaging with Tranquillity (BET) project did just this by progressing a research design that is informed by an approach of mixed methods .
The case study area concerns the landscape of the Dorset AONB, southern England and integrates with the seascape of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The project results from a collaborative partnership comprised of academics and practitioners, including the team of the Dorset AONB and staff at Dorset County Council, with funding provided by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
For further information on the overall project and research stages, please contact:
In relation specifically to the GIS elements of the project