A considerable body of research beginning in the late 1990s has sought to highlight the importance of rural recreation, sport, leisure, and tourism to local economies and to communities and their sustainability. Much of this activity depends on farmland and includes farm-based bed and breakfasts, farm-based camping and caravanning, and camping barns or conversions to holiday lets. Studies have suggested the increasing economic significance of rural tourism and farm-based activities. Such studies indicated that tourism and leisure activities in the countryside are of huge social and economic significance, and Richard Long has argued that leisure-related business can improve rural economies.

By the turn of the millennium, with declining rural economies in countries such as the United Kingdom, the Countryside Agency suggested diversification into appropriate sport and ...

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