Canterbury youth and outdoor recreation: An investigation of youth group leaders' perspectives on recreation opportunities on Banks Peninsula
In the summer of 2014-2015, Lincoln University, in conjunction with the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust and Department of Conservation, undertook research to explore the use of the Banks Peninsula walkways among youth organisations. The aim of this investigation was to understand the demand for local outdoor recreation opportunities among youth groups in Christchurch, as well as to gauge the implications for the Banks Peninsula “Spine of the Lizard” project. The research developed a database of youth organisations in the Christchurch area that participate in outdoor recreation (n=150); an on-line survey of youth organisation leaders in Christchurch to discover what outdoor recreation activities they participate in and which locations they use, as well as their perceptions of Banks Peninsula as an outdoor setting for young people (n=72); and semi-structured interviews with youth leaders involved in the decision making process to understand what is required for young people to explore the outdoors (n=13). Key findings include: Youth group organisations are frequent users of a wide range of Canterbury outdoor recreation areas – use that appears to be governed primarily by ‘tradition’; most youth organisations report high levels of recreation participation, engaging in some form of outdoor activity (but not necessarily beyond their immediate neighbourhoods) at least 2-3 times every month; relative to some other locations, Banks Peninsula is not currently a high-frequency outdoor recreation destination for youth groups. Although one in six groups surveyed never used Banks Peninsula, just under 70 per cent had visited at least once in the last twelve months. The most common visit frequency reported was once every 6-12 months (26%); the majority of respondents (61%) reported that they would like to use Banks Peninsula more often for their groups’ activities. Common reasons for not doing so included ‘traditionally using other sites’ and ‘lack of information’; respondents were relatively evenly divided on their likelihood of using a two night tramp (utilising huts or tents) on Banks Peninsula starting within one hour of Christchurch City, with 47 per cent of respondents saying that they would be ‘unlikely’ to use it, and 42 per cent saying they would use it. Key recommendations included: develop marketing tools to improve communication; Install interpretation at key sites and facilities; create a hut booking system for youth organisations; increase capacities of facilities to cater for larger youth groups; explore possibilities for a shuttle transport system and continue to develop and maintain mountain bike tracks.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsyouth groups; outdoor recreation; Banks Peninsula; Canterbury; Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust; Department of Conservation
Fields of Research160402 Recreation, Leisure and Tourism Geography; 050205 Environmental Management
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