For my GCSE Geography coursework I will be doing research on Rutland Water’s environment and how tourism effects Rutland water’s environment. The aim of this investigating is to see how the environment has changed and been managed and how it has been effected due to the number of tourists.
I will also be asking many other questions within this coursework such as:
* What is the tourism like at Rutland Water?
* Has the tourism at Rutland water increased or decreased and why?
* What attracts people to Rutland water and what are the main attraction points?
* What is the environment like at Rutland Water?
* How has the environment changed over the years?
* What are the conflicts in land use?
These questions will enable me to obtain information, which is relative to the main question and therefore, I will be able to answer it.
Location of Rutland water
Rutland water is based in between the three cities: Peterborough, Northampton and Leicester it is near the city of Rutland. Rutland is the smallest county in England and it has a rural landscape.
The reason why Rutland water is located in this area, is due to the fact that there was a shortage of water here and so by building this reservoir there would be more water. Another reason why Rutland water was located here is as it is a natural valley for flooding and also by building it in this area it would not effect the public too much as there was not many house there it was mainly open land.
Rutland water is the largest man made lake in Western Europe. The reservoir is 3100 acres and it is owned by Anglian water.
Although, Anglian water owns the reservoir it does not own the wildlife areas, which surround the water, this is owned by the Leicestershire & Rutland wildlife trust. The trust ensures that all the wildlife areas are looked after, these areas are:
* Nature reserves
* Bird watching centres and bird hides
* A range of water sports e.g.sailing
* Cycle hire centres and cycle paths
* Shops and cafes
* Children’s play areas
There are many places in Rutland water where all of these areas are located, which are:
* Sykes lane
These places are zoned to encourage people to visit certain places.
Rutland waters main attractions are Normanton church museum, water sports and for family recreation (see fig.1). It is also a popular site for bird watching, which is what I found out from my questionnaires.
Rutland water’s nature reservoir is nine miles of the western shoreline. There are two parts to the reserve, on the south-west shore is the Lyndon Reserve, which has a visitor centre, bird hides and a nature trail, and on the western shoreline is the Egleton reserve which has 11 hides and a viewing gallery.
History of Rutland Water
This year Rutland water is going to be 25years old. It was designed in the 1960’s, as government structure plans wanted to increase the size of a few places in the east of England. These places were:
* Milton Keynes
Due to the enlargement of these cities, they all needed a water supply to provide water to the houses therefore, Rutland water was designed and then later built in the 1970’s to do this.
It was not a very difficult job to do this, as there were many things that existed there such as the dam, which control the amount of water. They built Rutland water near Rutland as it was in the centre of all 5 cities, which needed a water supply.
To answer my main question: ‘What is the effect of tourism in the environment at Rutland water?’ I will have to collect a large amount of data.
To obtain this data I visited Rutland water on two occasions:
* Wednesday 20th February – 10:00 till 2:00
* Saturday 9th March – 1:00 till 4:00
I found that on Wednesday there was not many people on this day, this was due to the fact it was a weekday and the weather was not very good as it was quite cold, windy and it was raining. Therefore I went once again on Saturday as it was a weekend and also it was very warm and it was not raining. On this day there was a lot of people visiting Rutland water.
To obtain information to answer the main question I will have to use various methods, these methods are include:
* Tally Charts/surveys
* Maps of route
* Field sketches
* Environment quality index
* Transport timetables e.g. Buses etc
* Research through books and the internet
To answer my main question I used a questionnaire, which I gave to people at Rutland water, this gave me information about tourism. I also did some tally charts at the various places that I visited this also gave me information about tourism and information on the facilities available. I took some photographs whilst I was at Rutland water. There were three main reasons why I took photographs these were to show how the environment changed due to tourist, to look at the different facilities at Rutland water and to look how the tourism is managed.
I also obtained a map of Rutland water and how to get to various places. Whilst at Rutland water I went to a presentation where a member of staff talked about Rutland water and its history. Using these methods I was able to obtain a lot of information.
Tourism at Rutland water
Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries, nowadays more and more people are travelling to many different places around the world, but the local areas such as national parks etc are still very popular. Each year the number of tourists visiting places around Leicestershire is increasing. Tourism is an important factor in the world’s economy as it is seen as a major way to increase income and create more jobs.
There are many reasons why more and more people are going on holidays or day trips. These reasons are that the number of people who are living until an old age is increasing and as old people don’t go to work they can spend time relaxing and going on holidays more often. Also there is now a shorter working week and longer holidays with pay so people have more time and money to go on holidays more than once a year (fig. 4)
Fig. 4 Number of holiday’s people take per year
From fig.4 you can see that there is a number of people taking at least one holiday per year, this is due to the reasons stated above.
There is an increasing number of people who go to Rutland water, for various reasons, they visit certain areas of Rutland for certain activities, which have been zoned:
* Normanton – Fishing and sailing
* Sykes lane – Children’s play area, butterfly centre and cycling
– Mainly for families
* Whitwell – sailing and water sport activities
* Egleton – Bird watching centre
Egleton is situated in the west of Rutland water it offers a bird watching, which has many facilities which allows you to view many birds in their habitat and also provides information on birds.
The bar chart above shows the main facilities, which are used by the members of public, and as you can see the main reason it is used for is for bird watching this is due to the fact that it has many bird hides:
Photograph A demonstrates birds living in their habitat, these birds can be seen through the bird hides, which are located around Egleton. Egleton has approximately 10 bird hides for bird watchers to see the birds; it also has a Nature Reserve. Egleton is quite close to the A6003 so it is very easy for people to get by car as it also has a car park (photograph B).
Normanton is located in the south-east of Rutland water its main attraction is the Normanton church museum this tells the story of this ancient valley but it is also used for fishing and sailing which is used widely by many people.
The bar chart above shows the main facilities, which are used by the members of public, and as you can see the main reason it is used for is for visiting the museum and for sailing this is due to the fact that it has the space for a church:
Photograph C shows the Normanton church museum and as you can see there is a lot of space near by and it is easy to access. There are also many facilities for people who wish to sail, photograph D shows a few boats which are used by the public.
Many people enjoy visiting Normanton as it is quite a distance away from the main roads and so they can enjoy the peace and beauty of the area without it being noisy due to motorists and other pedestrians.
Whitwell and Barnsdale
Whitwell and Barnsdale are located in the north of Rutland water its main attractions are the water sports and the Drought garden but it is also used for sailing which is used widely by many people.
The chart above shows the facilities, which are used by people in both Barnsdale and Whitwell. As you can see the most popular facility is to sail and many people also like to walk in the area.
Photograph D shows the boats that are used for people to sail in Whitwell. Other activities which Whitwell and Barnsdale offer is a children’s play area (photograph E), woodland walks – a place for people to walk. (Photograph H).
The car park at Whitwell was also bigger than the car parks at the other sites. By having a larger car park it encourages more people to visit this area as it has there more space to park.
Sykes lane is situated in the north-east of Rutland water, this is one of the most popular places in Rutland water as it has a lot of facilities, which people want to use. Therefore the place is mainly for families.
The graph above shows that many people use the cycle hire facility at Sykes lane, many people also use Sykes lane to walk their dogs as it has good wide footpaths so you can walk, but the dogs have to be on a lead. The reason for this is so that the dogs don’t cause a problem for the other tourists.
The main reason why Sykes lane is a popular area for families is that it has a children’s play area so that the parents can take their children there to play.
Photograph E shows the children’s play area, it also shows a sign on the gate to show that there is an age limit for children to play on the equipment.
Environment at Rutland water
Some environments are quite fragile, so they can be easily changed and damaged. Therefore it is essential for these types of environments to be protected.
On my visit to Rutland water I found that although there were a lot of people at the various places in Rutland water there was no litter around. This meant that the people respected the environment at Rutland water and its natural beauty and therefore they made sure any litter that they did have was thrown away correctly in a dustbin. This demonstrated that people visiting Rutland water wanted to help preserve the natural beauty of the environment. By doing this it made sure that the environment was not damaged.
The main reason why the soil is being worn away and the footpaths are not level is due to tourist who walk along these areas but some areas are being walked on a lot more than other areas this makes the footpath uneven and bumpy. (Photograph F)
The photograph shows that the soil on the footpath is being worn away due to the bikes and people walking in these areas making the area shown very uneven. This shows one of the conflicts between the environment and the tourists.
Photograph G shows that near the trees the grass has been destroyed and the soil, which was originally underneath is appearing, resulting in a wider and uneven footpath.
Other factors that effect the environment is bacteria and fungi, such as Blue Algae, this effects the water and does not make the water very safe. So it meant that the sailing had to be stopped and the fishing had to be stopped as most of the fish were dying due to the algae and other fish would have been infected so if you did catch a fish it would not be safe to handle. By stopping all the fishing and sailing it caused a slight conflict with people who wanted to sail and fish, as they couldn’t.
One of the major conflicts that Rutland water has to face are cyclists as it has over 5000 cyclists every year, many of these cyclists cause a problem to the environment. As I stated above as they destroy the vegetation around the footpaths and make them wider, so there is a conflict with the environment management. Another ways that there are conflicts with cyclists are between them and other cyclists and people who are walking. As they have to use the same path and some cyclists like to cycle fast and people who are walking don’t want to be knocked over by the cyclists, which causes a major conflict. The largest conflict with cyclists is between them and the people who live in Manton, as the cyclists have to ride past there as the path that could be built would be too close to the Nature reserve. Therefore, the path goes through Manton and the people living here do not like the noise caused by the cyclists.
After doing this investigation I have come to the conclusion that the environment of Rutland water is effected by the tourists but only up to a certain point. These effects are mainly as a result of the conflicts that arise between people.
Also I found that many people are attracted to place, which have many facilities and as more and more people go to these places they become popular and become known as ‘honey pot’ sites. For Rutland water to ensure that one place doesn’t become too crowded and overpopulated it makes sure there are quite a few ‘honey pot’ sites for people to visit.
Even though there are many conflicts between the tourists and the environment Rutland water has managed them in various ways:
* Having a cattle grid
* Footpaths – tarmaced
* Small car parks
* Putting up signs – control flow of tourists
* Zoning certain areas
By using these methods Rutland water has overcome most of its conflicts and is able to preserve the natural beauty of Rutland water and not damage or change the environment.