Wales Activity Mapping GIS


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Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum - Wales Activity Mapping


Pembrokeshire Coastal forum and partners have developed a GIS portal that aims to map outdoor activity, supporting the sustainable management of the coastal area to the maximum benefit of all potential users and helping to provide a framework for future management in the region.

Sea Basin(s): 
December 2012
Application in MSP: 
Applied in a related process
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Economic aspects
Environment aspects
Land-sea interactions
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 

Questions this practice may help answer

  • How can  data on recreational uses of the sea and coast be collected?
  • How can pressures on marine areas caused by recreation be identified?
  • How can new opportunities for coastal and marine recreation at specific sites be identified?


Implementation Context

The Wales Activity Mapping project aims to develop an understanding of activities and uses of the South Western Wales coastline and potential conflicts between users in order to support sustainable growth and management of activity tourism (e.g. rock climbing, sea angling, coasteering). This will assist in the development of long term strategies, management of recreational activities and spatial planning to ensure that negative impacts on the environment and socio-economic activities are minimised and that appropriate infrastructure and facilities to support recreation can be developed.

Aspects / Objectives

  • Mapping recreational coastal/marine recreational activities and trends
  • Understanding spatial demands of coastal/marine recreation
  • Understanding areas for potential conflicts between recreational and/or other marine users, e.g. fisheries, nature conservation
  • Providing evidence to support planning for recreational activity


Information on recreational activities has been collected through a number of methods including a postal survey, desktop research and telephone interviews, interviews with people involved in recreational activities on a day to day basis such as wardens, outdoor activity instructors and harbour masters who were asked to draw on maps where they knew activities took place. Interviews with the general public were also undertaken. This information was used to gauge the seasonality and frequency of activities, participant profiles, activity trends and site specific information. Spatial data from recreational users was then digitised to provide GIS layers and associated information in the interactive map.


Main Outputs / Results

  • Web-based GIS mapping system of activities including sites where activities take place, user numbers, seasonality and activity trends
  • Further information on recreational infrastructure at specific sites, e.g. car parking, mooring areas, slipways and beach awards
  • Mapping of site designations, such as SACs, SPAs, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and potential threats to each site
  • Report on the economic value of recreation activity in Pembrokeshire


The techniques used to map recreational activity (collection of stakeholder information and GIS mapping) can be applied across any region or Member State.

Responsible Entity

Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum

Contact Person

David Jones
Wales Activity Mapping Project Manager, Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum

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