Is it possible to measure visitor footfall on pathways in the countryside?

Family of four walking though park

We’re all aware of how important visitor behaviour data and green space footfall is for managing urban parks, estates, national parks, AONBs and other landscapes when it comes to improving visitor experience. But what about countryside pathways? 

There is a remarkable network of over 180,000 miles of individual countryside pathways in England and Wales, including footpaths, bridleways and bypasses. These provide walkers, cyclists, horse riders and people heading to work or the shops with exercise, travel routes, a place to relax as well as a place to relax with nearby amenities.

For leisure and transport managers, as well as landowners, it can be much more difficult to survey and measure visitor footfall on pathways in the countryside. Most are in remote locations and do not have CCTV or sensors installed, which are proven to be expensive and inaccurate due to double counting or not tracking people who are slightly out of range. 

Furthermore, some pathways become impassable or usable as a result of poor maintenance and blockages via flooding, barbed wire fencing or trees – impacting on footfall, tourism and recreation to rural communities as a result. 

Measure visitor footfall on pathways the right way 

To ensure countryside pathways are accessible and beneficial to local economies, GPS data is arguably the best way for green space managers, transport officers and landowners to make informed decisions on how to best plan and manage countryside pathways. 

Our Green Space Dashboard supplies organisations and managers with vital information on visitor footfall on pathways, including access to not only footfall monitoring, but coverage of real-world behaviours in over 10,000 green spaces across the UK. 

By using pathway footfall data from billions of GPS data points, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand how visitors move around rural areas, including paths, by monitoring daily, weekly, and monthly footfall, average dwell time and visit frequency. 
  • Identify hotspots, busiest access points, and most used paths for required maintenance.
  • Monitor footfall over conservation projects. 
  • Use socio-economic data to spot commercial, marketing or event opportunities. 
  • Assess the impact of events or activities with pathway footfall data on local infrastructure and services in rural areas.
  • See who visits countryside pathways in your area based on postcode origins split into core, local and tourist categories. 
  • Visitor demographics are also extremely useful for future funding applications

With these considerations in mind, collecting GPS data to measure visitor footfall on pathways in the countryside can be a valuable way to assess the impact of any changes made and help to continually improve green spaces for everyone.

To discover visitor footfall and behaviour data for pathways and other green spaces in your area, call us on 0161 706 1343 to arrange a demo.


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