Sustainable rural tourism

Sustainable rural tourism

The Sustainable Rural Tourism programme aims to attract more
than 300,000 extra overnight visitors into the region each year.
Its six projects will focus on the opportunities for tourists – to
the benefit of south west businesses and residents – to make the
most of the South West Coast Path, Cornish Mining World Heritage
site, inland water bodies, cycle & multi-use trails and the
natural habitat.

More than £14 million is being provided by a grant from the Rural
Development Programme for England (RDPE), with a further £4 million
contributed by the private sector and the organisations leading
delivery of the projects. Around half of the funding will be spent
in Cornwall, although the split within individual projects

The six projects are:

  • 1 South West – A partnership led
    by the Forestry Commission will create easy access trail hubs to
    develop South West England as a world-class region for adventurous
    off-road cycling. With some trails suitable for absolute beginners,
    the hubs will enable enjoyable cycling activity throughout the
    year. This work will be enhanced through improved information for
    off-road cycling across the region, providing a platform for
    further development.
  • Outdoor
    & Active
     – A partnership led by the South West Lakes
    Trust, and involving the Cotswold Water Park Trust and the
    Environment Agency, it aims to develop water-side recreation –
    ranging from wildlife watching to regional racing and canoe safaris
    – at six interlinked hubs situated at reservoirs and lakes across
    the region.
  • Unlocking our Coastal
     – A partnership led by the South West Coast Path
    Team to conserve, enhance and interpret 30 sites along the South
    West Coast Path National Trail. It aims to improve the quality of
    the visitor experience and increase the economic benefits to the
    associated tourism industry.
  • Discover the Extraordinary
    – The Cornish Mining World Heritage Site has ambitious
    plans for developing the quality and appeal of the World Heritage
    mining landscape and attractions in Cornwall and West
  • Country Sports South
     – A partnership between the British Association for
    Shooting and Conservation and Westcountry Rivers Trust will be
    looking to develop the full potential of the region’s country
    sports market and its related supporting industries.
  • TRAC (Tourism and Rural Access in
    – Cornwall Council is working with businesses to
    develop links between the Camel and Tarka multi-use trails,
    particularly on the Devon and Cornwall border, to help diversify
    tourism facilities and interest to areas in the less traditional
    tourist ‘hotspots’.

For more information, please contact Mike Johns at the South
West RDA by phone on 01392 229626 or by email to

A group cycling the Camel trail

People walking by the white horse on Westbury Hill