Arrangements within the UK to enhance recreation opportunities in the countryside are currently implemented in a somewhat ad hoc manner. This paper analyses the economic effectiveness of such provision in Grampian Region, Scotland. This is achieved by quantifying, using the contingent valuation method, the economic benefits accruing from recreation enhancements and comparing these benefits with the level of expenditure currently being undertaken on these improvements. The subsequent analysis provides a strategic framework for the assessment of recreation needs in the region, thus enabling future priorities for provision to be identified. It is argued that the quantification of public preferences for recreation enhancements provides a powerful tool to aid strategic planning of recreation provision. The issue of using public funds to finance recreation facilities in the countryside is also discussed.