Tom van Rensburg

National University of Ireland, Galway, Gaillimh, Connaught, Ireland

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Publications (8)2.21 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Despite the potential benefits accruing from use of the rural landscape access to farmland is a contentious issue with many landowners restricting public access. Within this context, this paper first explores general public preferences and willingness to pay for farmland walking trails in the Irish countryside. Second this paper examines farmers’ willingness to participate in a hypothetical walking scheme whereby the general public will be allowed access to specific trails. Results suggest that individuals are not a homogeneous group with regard to their preferences for farmland walking trails as there are significant differences between likely users and non-users. From a supply perspective results suggest that a significant number of landowners are willing to allow public access provided there is no personal cost to them. In addition, this paper identified significant regional variations in farmers’ attitudes relating to public access. More generally, the analysis presented here would suggest that there is significant scope for policy intervention to improve public access to the countryside.
    01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: Data from a discrete choice experiment aimed at eliciting the demand for recreational walking trails on farmland in the Republic of Ireland is used to explore the consequences of misspecifying the cost coefficient. To enable straightforward calculation of WTP from the distributions of the non-price coefficients, the price coefficient is typically held constant in mixed logit models. This implies that all respondents are equally price sensitive. In this paper we test the validity of this assumption. Our approach is based on a comparison and combination of discrete and continuous mixing approaches (i.e., a mixture of distributions) to uncover the unobserved heterogeneity in price sensitivities. Results from the analysis highlight that model fit and willingness to pay are sensitive to the distributional assumptions used to represent the price coefficient.
    Agricultural Economics Society, 84th Annual Conference, March 29-31, 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland. 01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper explores the attitudes of landowners across Ireland to the wider provision of public access for recreational walking using a multinomial logit model. The study also investigates the level of compensation required to improve the supply of this public good. Results indicate that 51% of landowners are not willing to provide access (non-providers), 21% are willing to provide access free of charge (free providers) and 28% seek compensation (willing providers). The findings indicate that participation by landowners in a proposed public access scheme is influenced by landowners' experience with walkers, farm type, farm insurance costs, household demographics, regional variations, opportunity cost of land and participation in other agri-environment schemes. Mean willingness-to-accept for landowners willing to facilitate improved public access for walking was found to be €0.27 per metre of walkway.
    Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 01/2009; 52(8):1053-1070. · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper explores the attitudes of landowners across Ireland to the wider provision of public access for recreational walking using a multinomial logit model. The study also investigates the level of compensation required to improve the supply of this public good. Results indicate that 51% of landowners are not willing to provide access (non-providers), 21% are willing to provide access free of charge (free providers) and 28% seek compensation (willing providers). The findings indicate that participation by landowners in a proposed public access scheme is influenced by landowners’ experience with walkers, farm type, farm insurance costs, household demographics, regional variations, opportunity cost of land and participation in other agri-environment schemes. Mean willingness-toaccept for landowners willing to facilitate improved public access for walking was found to be €0.27 per metre of walkway.
    Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 01/2009; 52(8). · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Formally developed walking routes can have substantial benefits for individuals as a recreational resource and can be a tool for promoting economic development in marginal rural areas. Moreover, the provision of walking trails can facilitate individuals in meeting health related guidelines for physical activity. The overall aim of this paper is to examine respondents’ attitudes towards the formal development and maintenance of walking trails. Analysis of individuals’ attitudes towards walking related activities can provide information from which policymakers can ascertain if policy measures in relation to the provision of walking trails and public access to farmland are in line with citizens’ views and needs. A principal component factor analysis was performed on respondent’s importance ratings of various walking attributes. Factor scores were then used in a binary logit model formulated to ascertain the major influences on individuals demand for walking trail facilities (such as a route map, information point, car parking etc.). Results suggest that certain cohorts of the population have a much higher demand for the provision of various trail facilities on walking routes. The study also highlighted how the importance respondents place on the provision of trail facilities as well as a variety of background variables play a significant role in influencing respondents’ willingness to make a financial contribution towards the formal development and maintenance of walking trails.
    01/2009;
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    Cathal Buckley, Stephen Hynes, Tom van Rensburg
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    ABSTRACT: Public access to the Irish countryside for walking and recreation generally is a contentious issue. Increased affluence, mobility and changing values have brought about increased demands with respect to recreation in the countryside. There is also a greater emphasis on consumption demands for goods and services in rural areas. However, provision of a walking product has not been without problems in Ireland. This paper focuses on how public access provision for recreational walking might be enhanced by exploring the situation and precedent in a cross section of European and other developed nations and examining the concerns of landowners in the area of public liability. Finally, supply side factors affecting public access provision are examined in an economic context and a discussion is offered on how the supply of this public good might be improved.
    01/2008;
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    Stephen Hynes, Cathal Buckley, Tom van Rensburg
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    ABSTRACT: In the last decade the demand for rural recreation has increased in Ireland as the population has become increasingly urbanised. Increased affluence, mobility and changing values have also brought new demands with respect to landscape, conservation, heritage and recreation, with a greater emphasis on consumption demands for goods and services in rural areas. This paper’s contribution to the understanding of outdoor recreational pursuits in Ireland is based on the estimation of the first farmland recreation demand function. We use this empirical work to investigate the more general conflict between countryside recreational pursuits and farming activity. Through the estimation of a travel cost model, the study derives the mean willingness to pay of the average outdoors enthusiast using a farm commonage site in Co. Galway, Ireland and an estimate of the gross economic value of the site as a recreational resource. The result indicates the high value of Irish farmland from a recreational amenity perspective.
    Economic and Social Review. 02/2007; 38.
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    Stephen Hynes, Cathal Buckley, Tom van Rensburg
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    ABSTRACT: In the last decade the demand for rural recreation has increased in Ireland as the population has become increasingly urbanised. Increased affluence, mobility and changing values have also brought new demands with respect to landscape, conservation, heritage and recreation, with a greater emphasis on consumption demands for goods and services in rural areas. This paper’s contribution to the understanding of outdoor recreational pursuits in Ireland is based on the estimation of the first farmland recreation demand function. We use this empirical work to investigate the more general conflict between countryside recreational pursuits and farming activity. Through the estimation of a travel cost model, the study derives the mean willingness to pay of the average outdoors enthusiast using a farm commonage site in Co. Galway and an estimate of the gross economic value of the site as a recreational resource. The result indicates the high value of Irish farmland from a recreational amenity perspective.
    01/2006;