Archives of Acoustics, 38, 4, pp. 479–487, 2013

Awareness of Noise Hazards and the Value of Soundscapes in Polish National Parks

Sebastian BERNAT
Department of Environmental Protection, Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management Maria Curie-Skłodowska University

The goal of the studies undertaken in Polish national parks was to determine noise threats, examine
the resources, assess the quality of soundscapes and identify the possibilities of their protection. The
questionnaire method used in the studies made it possible to identify the awareness of noise threats and
the value of soundscapes according to the park service staff. In addition, the semantic differential and
description methods were used to learn how students assessed the soundscape quality of Polish national
parks. Finally, avenues of further research on soundscape in environmentally valuable areas were indicated.
The research findings indicate that each national park in Poland is characterised by diverse and unique
soundscapes and is subject to the pressure of road traffic and tourism resulting in noise hazards. The
conservation of the acoustic values of parks is necessary and possible.
Keywords: landscape perception; noise; soundscape; quiet zone, national parks
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