Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers take the high road to understand changing uplands

02.03.2006


Scientists from the universities of Leeds, Sheffield, East Anglia, Durham and Sussex are embarking on new science research projects worth over £1 million in the Peak District to understand what rural policy changes mean for the future of rural livelihoods and the countryside.



Much of Britain’s drinking water comes from uplands. They are important for tourism, farming and hunting, and are home to threatened plant and animal species. But the face of our uplands is changing. Farm subsidies have been overhauled; new EU rules regulate land management impacts on water quality; additional public rights of way have been opened; and traditional management practices like heather burning are receiving increasing scrutiny. The potential impacts on rural communities are huge, and nowhere more so than in the Peak District, which lies within an hour’s drive for about a third of the UK population.

Chris Dean, project manager of the Moors for the Future Partnership in the Peak District National Park said: “The collision of diverse interests in the uplands really comes to a head in the Peak District, where all the different drivers of upland change are at their most pronounced.”


The projects in the Peak District aim to understand how upland communities can respond to these changes. The research is funded by the government’s Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme, a research initiative that brings together diverse teams of natural and social scientists with local stakeholders and policy makers. The goal is to identify a choice of options for the future of the countryside that could never have been developed by any of these groups in isolation.

“No one group of natural or social scientists will ever have sufficient expertise to address all the dimensions of what is happening to the countryside,” said Professor Philip Lowe of Newcastle University who heads the RELU programme.

“Instead, what we need is ‘joined up’ research that brings together researchers from different disciplines and that places the local knowledge and expertise of stakeholders and policy-makers at the very heart of the scientific process.”

The RELU projects in the Peak District have been launched in collaboration with the Moors for the Future partnership. One project, led by Leeds University, will look at changes to the uplands with respect to moorland burning. In a successful scoping study in 2005, the researchers already uncovered a range of sometimes controversial views about moorland burning, which they fed into Defra’s consultation on burning regulation. The team suggested that by getting people involved in negotiations about the way land managers can respond to future change, it may be possible to reach agreement more easily and with wider acceptance.

A second project, led by Sheffield University, is to look at the impact of changes to farm subsidies. This month farmers received their first full payment under the new Single Farm Payment Scheme. Subsidy payments are no longer based on the amount farmers produce, but instead are tied to the area of land holdings. The researchers aim to understand how local hill farmers respond to and cope with this change.

A third project, led by the University of East Anglia, examines the implications for land management practices of changes to EU policies governing water quality.

“Attracting all of this investment in research into the Peak District is a real coup and will give local stakeholders a unique voice in the scientific and rural policy process,” enthuses Jim Dixon, Peak District National Park Authority. “Our uplands are changing fast. But it’s projects like these that help us understand and make sure there is a change for the better for all of the different interest groups involved.”

Hannah Love | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht When corals eat plastics
24.05.2018 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>