Environmental perception and learning experience in nature trail of national park visitors

  • Chawaporn Suksri Department of Conservation, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
  • Noppawan Tanakanjana Phongkhieo Department of Conservation, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
  • Dachanee Emphandhu Department of Conservation, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Keywords: environmental perception, learning experience, nature trail, national park, visitor

Abstract

This study has three objectives: (1) to study the physical environment of nature trails and the characteristics of trail users; (2) to study the environmental perception and learning experiences that trail users gained from nature walk activities; (3) to test the influence of the physical environment and characteristics of trail users on users’ environmental perception and learning experience. The data were collected by surveying the physical environment of nature trails and using a set of questionnaires on 500 trail users. The site survey data was analysed using qualitative analysis method and the questionnaire data was analysed with descriptive statistics, factor analysis and path analysis. The study results showed that environmental perception had a direct effect on learning experience in 2 aspects: environmental knowledge and nature appreciation. Motivation and attention were the characteristics of trail users that affected environmental perception and learning experience. The physical environment element that affect environmental perception the most was landscape features followed by spatial characteristic. The spatial characteristics also had an effect on learning experience in all aspects. The study suggested that park manager should focus on motivation and attention of trail users. Trail designers should understand landscape features and spatial characteristics that affect the interests and impressions of the trail users and should incorporate those factors into design of park trails.

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Published
2021-04-30
Section
Research articles