Opening up the countryside

Working with Lancaster University, The Institute of Outdoor Learning and The Outdoor Industries Association, Beyonk has built a booking platform solution to enable opening up the countryside in a responsible way.

We're all passionate about helping people get active outdoors for both mental and physical health benefits. Yet there is a need to promote the outdoors in a sustainable and responsible way. If we can open the outdoors without any negative consequences, we can all go on to enjoy it for longer, without the risk of having greater restrictions emposed and even a second lockdown.

The challenge of opening up the countryside

Having 7 weeks of lockdown, the government has eased all travel restrictions irrespective of distance, or activity within England. There is a concern tourist hotspots will be overwhelmed from a influx of visitors. Making it difficult to maintain social distancing and preventing a second spike of Coronavirus cases and potentially upsetting local communities. There's a further risk of overwhelming quiet rural roads where emergency services may need to travel. With the possible knock on impact of negative press that we saw just before the lockdown rules were announced.

over-crowding-tourist-destination

While we want people to explore and enjoy the outdoors, we want to do so in a way that support public safety through offering an solution to areas to control their visitor numbers and densities.

A solution for safe reopening up of the countryside

Beyonk, The OIA and key outdoor industry organisations have worked with major rural car parks and have discussed and taken feedback from landowners and tourist boards to create a solution available for use to help with:

- Dispersing tourists from hot spots

- Limiting capacity of booking car park spaces to safe levels

- Restricting booking to local communities

- Allowing bookings for older age groups and the vulnerable to enable them to get outside sooner in a safer environment

How it works

The current booking platform is optimised for those who wish to sell car parks spaces online, with the ability to set a number of restrictions on capacity, timeslots and radius of booking to control the reopening of car parks. Through clear communications, customers can be directed to only turn up if they've booked a space online. Volunteers can check tickets to car parks to ensure tickets are enforced. There is an opportunity for volunteer support by the Institute of Outdoor Learning. This aims to limit travel to tourist hotspots to a manageable level and promote areas with available capacity. Measures can be eased by land-owners as they are comfortable social distancing and Covid-19 re-opening guidelines can be met.

We have also created a solution available for attractions for similar booking controls to open in a responsible and controlled manner.

Caveats

As with any solution, digital innovations are one small part of the puzzle and require strong communications and people elements.

Timeframes are tight and implementing something new can be worrying. This solution is a quick and simple website to help visitors travel to you with less issues and risks to the local community.

What next?

Want to investigate whether you can adopt our solution to help open up the countryside? Get in contact with Oscar at beyonk.com or through www.beyonk.com