River Restoration: Public Attitudes and Expectations

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Abstract

Public attitudes to restoration works on three rivers have been assessed using questionnaires and in-depth interviews with local residents and restoration-scheme managers, which were carried out after the implementation of the schemes. The results indicate that the restored rivers were well used and highly valued by the local public. At all three sites, the residents approved of the restoration work, and at two sites they considered that the schemes offered ‘value for money’. There were differences in the responses to the schemes at the different locations. The research suggests that greater benefits may be perceived in restoring urban rivers such as the Skerne.

Local residents attached importance to public consultation and expected to be consulted about river-restoration works. On the basis of the three case studies and on the experiences of restoration practitioners, conclusions are drawn regarding consultation and involving local people in restoring and enhancing rivers.

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