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A new home for expertise in outdoor recreation

What is the Outdoor Recreation Research Group?

We are the first cross-disciplinary research group in the UK looking at the growing sector of outdoor recreation from all perspectives. Bringing together economists, social scientists, ecologists, engineers and behavioural change and tourism experts, we are the home of expertise in the way we play outdoors – and the important economy behind it.

What do we do?

We work with local authorities, national bodies, recreation providers, sport companies and anybody else with an interest in outdoor recreation to provide evidence, expertise and consultancy.

What can ORRG deliver?

For Service
National strategic organisations Strengthen the evidence base
Provide robust methodology, expert advice and data in a coordinated way.
Advise, design and implement the latest technologies for monitoring and promoting participation
Land owners / managers / businesses A coordinated advice service considering environmental, economic, social & local issues
Local organisations Support for recreational site development, conference support, developing a local evidence base, support for business development / funding bids.
Outdoor Recreation Sector High level research and consultancy, product design and development, economic and social impacts, dissemination and learning. European collaboration / funding.

Who are we?

There are 10 core members of the group from six different departments within Sheffield Hallam University, representing three of SHU's four faculties. As a collective this group provides a wide range of services and skills to further enhance recognition, development and coordination of the outdoor recreation sector.

Members Faculty / Department Discipline(s) Core expertise Contact
Maxine Gregory (Chair) Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) Sport, physical activity and
social impact
Leading SHU's work to quantify the 'value' of outdoor recreation, working closely with Sheffield City Council. Expert in measuring impact, evaluation and consultation m.gregory@shu.ac.uk
Nick Hamilton (Vice Chair) Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER) Sports engineering Lead designer of the creative and consultancy team for CSER, expert in design, analysis and manufacture n.hamilton@shu.ac.uk
Professor Lynn Crowe Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Countryside recreation Access and countryside recreation expert, including ecosystem services and public health benefits of the natural environment and protected landscapes. Working closely with the ORN and Europarc l.crowe@shu.ac.uk
Professor Ian Rotherham Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Countryside management Leading countryside management and environmental expert i.d.rotherham@shu.ac.uk
Professor Steve Haake Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) Sports Engineering Director of Research for the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) and Director of Sheffield's Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) s.j.haake@shu.ac.uk
Professor Robert Copeland  Centre for Sport and Exercise Science (CSES) Sports Psychology Designs physical activity and behaviour change interventions in public health. Project Manager of NCSEM and Sheffield's 'Move More' initiative and Professor of Physical Activity and Healh r.j.copeland@shu.ac.uk
Dr Larissa Davies Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) Sport and regeneration, social impact Leading researcher on the economic and social importance of sport and physical activity l.e.davies@shu.ac.uk
Adele Doran Sheffield Business School (SBS) Adventure tourism Tourism lecturer, specialising in empowerment and women in Adventure Tourism. Co-organising the ATRA 2015 International Adventure Conference at SHU a.doran@shu.ac.uk
Gill Pomfret Sheffield Business School (SBS) Adventure tourism Senior Lecturer in Tourism. Co-organising the ATRA 2015 IAC at SHU g.c.pomfret@shu.ac.uk
David Curtis Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER) Business development, innovation Business development expertise, delivery of collaborative research projects e.g. ProFit Field-Labs d.curtis@shu.ac.uk

Work we have undertaken

Sheffield’s Outdoor Economy and The Outdoor City

In 2014/15, ORRG were commissioned by Sheffield City Council to report on the size, scale, and scope of Sheffield's 'Outdoor Economy'. The strength of the data that we provided led to Sheffield declaring itself 'The Outdoor City' and launching an outdoor strategy and accompanying marketing campaign.  Read the report here: Everything grows outside - including jobs and the economy (PDF, 780 KB). The Outdoor City brand continues to grow and Maxine Gregory and Prof Rob Copeland from ORRG have supported this development since 2015 through their roles on the project steering group.

Developing Active Environments

Since 2016, ORRG has been working with and supporting Harworth Estates to develop their flagship Waverley site using an 'Active Environment' concept.  The innovative ORRG project has brought together specialists in community consultation and engagement, along with design and technology experts to develop and test concepts.  Reporting on the project is due soon, but you can read more information here: https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/hwbstaffnews/2017/09/20/partnership-harworth/

Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership (SLLP)

In 2017 ORRG was commissioned to provide an 'Access and Gateways Appraisal' to inform the development of the Landscape Conservation Action Plan for a £2.8 million Heritage Lottery Funded project. ORRG’s most interdisciplinary project to date, combined consultation and engagement work with expertise focused on environmental and ecosystem protection, local history and heritage, access, mapping and surveying. The end product was highly commended and supported the development and implementation of the project going forwards. The feedback received from the client included the following comments:

“You took considerable care to understand what it was we were trying to achieve and to explore priorities.  The volume and quality of data collected considerably exceeded expectations and gave a real robustness underpinning the access projects in the programme.  I have attached the projects that we developed as a result of your report - which hopefully is a good way of demonstrating how useful it was.  The fact that this was achieved at a difficult time of year weather-wise and in a compressed time-frame was also impressive. The contribution to the statement of significance was excellent and broader than just access / accessibility issues. Thank you for an excellent piece of work - you were a pleasure to work with and hope we can work with you again in the future”.

Claire Watts, Consultation and Engagement Officer, Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership.

Contact us

orrg@shu.ac.uk

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