The effects of visitor pressure on heathland are of conservation concern. Public access to lowland heathland has, for example, been found to lead to an increase in wild fires, the introduction of alien plants and animals, deposition of nutrients, loss of vegetation and soil erosion and disturbance to birds. This research analyses and comments on visitor survey data collected in 2004 under the Urban Heaths Life Project and compares and combines this with data collected in 2003 (Rose & Clark, 2004). It supports evidence demonstrating the link between visitor pressure and adverse effects on heathland habitats and wildlife. It also provides important evidence about behaviour and attitudes, which will facilitate the development of policy aimed at influencing attitudes and behaviour and diverting pressures onto alternative sites.
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