Attitudes and behaviours of user groups on Cannock Chase area of outstanding natural beauty
AbstractIncreasing amounts of leisure time and more availability of income following postrecessional financial issues have contributed towards growing public usage of free parkland areas, such as Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, putting such areas under pressure from environmental issues. The behaviours of users of parklands have been extensively researched, with scarce attention to the investigation of underpinning attitudes. Of available theory, Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour (1985) model and Dunlap et al.’s (2000) New Ecological Paradigm scale are arguably the most effective in identifying and measuring the link between attitude and behaviour. The aim of the present programme of study was to explore user and non-user attitudes to environmental issues and then develop and test an intervention to increase awareness and pro-environmental attitudes. Baseline data involved data collection from 701 users and 210 non-users. Participants completed both attitudinal questionnaires and users took part in semi-structured interviews. Baseline data analysis indicated user group participants reported low proenvironmental attitude scores, suggesting room for improvement. In terms of improving pro-environmental attitudes, studies show educational interventions are highly effective, with simultaneous use of multiple emotional appeals used in an online format. Content analysis of existing AONB intervention posters and leaflets were used to develop an image based poster intervention. Intervention was emailed to participants with an initial questionnaire (n=234). Over a six month longitudinal study, participants repeated questionnaire completion at months two (n=196) and six (n=210). Results indicated pro-environmental attitudes all improved initially from baseline, then all decreased at month two, and largely increased from month two to month six. Females, higher qualified, middle income, car users, photographers, nature activities and runners were among the most pro-environmental postintervention. Mood data identified all emotions built into poster were experienced, therefore improvements were influenced by the intervention. Viewed collectively, results indicate that the study has identified poster interventions are an inexpensive, easy and effective method of improving pro-environmental attitudes. Research has shown poster method can be used by subject specialists and non-specialists; such an intervention is scalable and potentially effective. Future research is needed to investigate the efficacy and effectiveness of scalable interventions to improve proenvironmental attitudes
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
SponsorsUniversity of Wolverhampton.
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