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Situating risk in the context of a woodland visit: a case study on Lyme Borreliosis

O'Brien, L, Marcu, A, Marzano, M, Barnett, J, Quine, CP and Uzzell, D (2012) Situating risk in the context of a woodland visit: a case study on Lyme Borreliosis Scottish Forestry, 66 (4). pp. 14-24.

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Research shows that people value woodlands for relaxation and as a place to have contact with nature. Yet woodlands can also involve exposure to a variety of risks. In this study the way in which people consider issues of risk in environments generally associated with a range of positive values was explored with visitors to a woodland in South East England. A walk through the woods taking photographs, focus group discussions and questionnaires were the methods used in this research with four groups of people from a range of ages. We focused on the positive and negative aspects of woodlands and discussed risks that might be encountered in this environment before focusing specifically on Lyme borreliosis (Lyme disease) as an example of a specific risk. Those involved in the research understood that there are potential risks that may have an impact on their use of woodlands. However, they did not passively accept information on risks but generated their own understanding based on the development of what they considered to be ‘common sense’ approaches to dealing with risk. The way in which people value woodlands is something they take into consideration when discussing risks that might be encountered on a woodland visit. In relation to Lyme borreliosis, participants favour taking action after their woodland visit (e.g. looking for ticks or a rash), rather than beforehand, so as not to detract from their woodland experience. Communication about these risks should be simple and concise and take into account the values, behaviours and practices that people typically undertake in these environments.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
O'Brien, L
Marcu, A
Marzano, M
Barnett, J
Quine, CP
Date : 1 January 2012
Copyright Disclaimer : © RSFS SCOTTISH FORESTRY VOL 66 NO 4 2012
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 09:33
Last Modified : 02 Aug 2018 10:06

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