Pathways and nature trails can be routed to give visitors an
enjoyable experience whilst minimising disturbance to wildlife
and protecting sensitive habitats. Surfaced paths, boardwalks,
birdhides, embankments, hedgerows and ditches can all provide
access for people and protection for wildlife.
Facilities need to be provided to cater for the expected number
and type of visitor. The requirements will be different if
near to a centre of population than if in a rural location.
Some habitats are more sensitive than others and wetlands in
particular need to be protected from trampling by careful routing
of paths or by the use of boardwalks.
protect the marsh and keep the feet dry.
can be designed to provide an interesting walk in their
Potential human and pet disturbance is also a major factor
for sites with bird and mammal life and in these situations
well designed viewing facilities are needed so that visitors
can feel close to the wildlife whilst the wildlife does not
feel threatened by the visitors.
In spring and summer bird breeding can easily be disrupted.
Even in woodlands ground nesting birds, such as the willow
warbler, are easily disturbed by dogs. On short winter days
birds can use up valuable energy moving away from disturbance.
Flocks of wildfowl are particularly vulnerable. Refuge areas,
where there is no access to human visitors, can be designed
into sites so that wildlife if disturbed is not forced to
leave the site.