FIFE is still Scotland’s most popular outdoor destination, hitting the top spot for the sixth year in a row.
Scottish Natural Heritage has revealed the Kingdom’s rural and coastal areas continue to be the most visited in Scotland – a record Fife has held since 2006.
The Scottish Recreation Survey: Annual summary report 2011 confirms Fife received nearly 40 million visits last year.
The estimated average of 31.6 million visits each year since 2004 is nearly 10 million more than either the City of Edinburgh or Highlands, and around 100 times the Kingdom’s population!
About 90 per cent of Fifers make outdoor visits within the home Kingdom, with over half making a trip at least once a week – a testament to the quality of and accessibility to the coast and countryside.
The Fife Coastal Path, for example, is the most popular and longest continuous route of its kind in Scotland and offers locals and visitors a unique tour of Fife’s history and biodiversity. Dining and shopping outlets along the path also help generate millions of pounds each year for the local economy.
“It is wonderful to see Fife as the most popular outdoor destination in Scotland for the sixth year in a row,” said Simon Phillips, business manager at Fife Coast and Countryside Trust – the charity responsible for managing and conserving Fife’s countryside.
“The Kingdom has a superb range of coastal and countryside sites. We are delighted to see our hard work really paying off and making a difference to the lives of people throughout Fife and beyond.
Katherine Leys, Scottish Natural Heritage’s operations manager for Fife, added: “We undertake the Scottish Recreation Survey every year to see how people are using and enjoying the countryside. Fife has done really well once again, which confirms what those of us living in Fife already know – it is a great place to live and enjoy”
Alison Irvine, senior access officer with Fife Council, said: “We are really proud that Fife is once again in the top spot in this survey.
“The council is currently working to sign post and open up the 1500km of adopted core paths in the area which will add even further to the great opportunities for outdoor access in Fife.”