Perceptions of the AONB investigated in study

During the summer of 2015, Plymouth University are carrying out a pilot study in Cornwall called ‘Landscape Connections and Perceptions’. The research is in collaboration with the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). 


The project aims to find out how people perceive the Cornish landscape, and to promote people’s health and wellbeing by enabling visits to local landscapes.


Detail of aims

1) To ascertain differences in how rural landscapes are perceived within the rural landscapes themselves and in neighbouring towns.

2) To understand the barriers which prevent residents accessing local landscapes.

3) To make recommendations on how these barriers can be overcome to create positive social and health benefits.

4) To investigate differences in people’s perceptions of different landscape types.

5) To find the locations of people’s favourite views, and why they are popular.

The project uses an app called Rate my View and Geocaching as part of its methodology. People can upload digital photos of their favourite views and comment on them. Through the caches people can take photographs or record sounds of the landscape they have been led to.

The caches have been located in different landscape character types across four study areas, three of which are in the AONB and one which is outside, for comparison. Each study area will have a ‘trail’ of geocaches covering different landscape types. Questionnaires are also being carried out in towns close to the study areas.


Study areas

1. Wadebridge-Padstow Cycle Path

Estuarine woodland


The Iron Bridge, Camel Trail

The Iron Bridge, Camel Trail

2. St Anthony’s Head

Coastal woodland, Coastal headland, Coastal farmland


3. Bodmin Moor

Upland inland moorland, Upland reservoir


Enjoying a day on the water - Sibleyback Reservoir, Bodmin Moor

Enjoying a day on the water - Sibleyback Reservoir, Bodmin Moor


4. Crenver Grove

Inland woodland, Inland farmland


You can find out more about the project and the research collaborators working on it at

The project website will also be updated as the project progresses and we'll keep you up to date here, including where to find those elusive Geocaches!