Access to the Countryside in Northern Ireland

Research Theme: Place, Well-being and Healthy Environment
Supervisors: Dr. Linda Price (l.price@qub.ac.uk) and Prof Keith Lilley (k.lilley@qub.ac.uk)

Despite enabling legislation Northern Ireland has failed to develop access to the countryside at a similar pace to Great Britain.  A statutory right of access only exists within publicly owned forests in NI.  NI is caught, therefore, between an even more illiberal access regime in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), that of furthering opening up of land in GB through the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW) and regional developments such as the coastal path around Wales.  The project provides the opportunity to explore the historical, political and social contexts to these variations across the UK via a comparative study.  The student would be free to develop the focus of the study which may be around the extent to which NI is experiencing ‘legislative lag’ as a result of the troubles, the extent to which  productivist, agricultural lobbying power is affecting the issue of National Park Development and/or the extent to which the marketing of the natural environment through tourism/health strategies is becoming an ever more pressing issue; the type of countryside management strategies/financing implications that would be needed to enact the legislation; investigation of a weak countryside lobbying movement in Northern Ireland.

How to Apply