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School of Geography

River Basin Processes and Management Projects

Sustainable uplands: Communicating and learning to live with change

PI: Joseph Holden (University of Leeds)

Co-I: Mette Termansen (University of Leeds), Pippa Chapman (University of Leeds), Timothy Burt (Durham University), Christina Prell (University of Sheffield), Mark Reed (University of Aberdeen), Brian Irvine (University of Leeds), Klaus Hubacek (University of Maryland), Michael Kirkby (University of Leeds), Lindsay Stringer (University of Leeds)

Overview: This project is about predicting the future of the UK uplands and informing people about how they might best respond and adapt to change. It is a follow-on project which will communicate findings from the 'Sustainable Uplands' project to interested parties and lay audiences.

After working with farmers and other stakeholders to determine their concerns about the future, scientists and social scientists gathered data and produced models. The models feature variables such as changes in the environment, human behaviour or policy such as farm subsidies, different sheep-stocking rates, heather burning practice, tree planting or rainfall patterns due to climate change. By changing these variables, the models can predict impacts upon farm incomes, water quality, carbon storage, biodiversity, and sheep, grouse or salmon populations etc.

This project will disseminate key findings from the models and new methods to policy-makers, upland end-users (businesses, charities, those living, working and playing in the uplands, government organisations etc.) and other social science researchers. Films, information sheets, workshops and policy briefs will be used. Information will be posted to people and will be available on websites and in upland visitor centres. There will be an effort to publicise and popularise the work using the media.

Start date: 14 September 2009

End date: 13 November 2010

Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)