Sustainable Upland Management

Project Status: Completed (See Final Report Summary)
Type of Project: Scoping Study
Principal Investigator: Dr Klaus Hubacek, University of Leeds



Uplands represent Britain’s most significant carbon store; are a source of potable water; and are vital for biological conservation, extensive livestock farming, tourism, recreation, forestry, game and fishing. Widespread degradation is occurring in response to current land use and management (e.g. fire, grazing regimes and land drainage) and historic atmospheric deposition of pollutants. This may result in the moorland becoming a carbon source and a range of other on-site and downstream impacts, including; altered moorland ecology, reduced biodiversity; increased moorland fires; increased sediment loads with downstream impacts on fisheries; increased water coloration; heavy metal leaching; fluvial and atmospheric carbon loading; and changes to the incidence/severity of downstream flooding. Changes in land management that lead to hydrological and ecosystem rehabilitation in uplands therefore have the potential to deliver social and economic benefits for rural stakeholders at local, regional and national scales. To realise this potential and deliver sustainable upland management, it is necessary to identify relevant management goals, strategies and sustainability indicators, and develop tools to evaluate them in a multi-stakeholder, participatory framework. Impacts of land management cross many academic disciplines. Effective land use recommendations, policy options, and innovative research, from a range of physical and social science disciplines is required.

To address these problems this Scoping Study will develop and apply a novel, multidisciplinary methodological framework to identify, evaluate and monitor sustainable land management in close collaboration with stakeholders, and natural, economic and social scientists. The Peak District National Park (PDNP) will be used as a case study for social and natural scientists to elicit and evaluate visions, management strategies and indicators for sustainable uplands in collaboration with stakeholders. Visions, management strategies and indicators will be adapted and short-listed with stakeholders to minimize trade-offs and optimize synergies, and then integrated into preliminary land use plans. This information will be used to support ongoing moorland restoration by Moors for the Future (MFF) (a not-for-profit research institution in the PDNP). Data and research gaps will be assessed and tools developed to evaluate the environmental, social, economic and carbon impact of upland management strategies in future research.

Newsletter Winter/Spring 2005


Journal Articles

Holden, J., Trotter, S., Hodson, S., Lindup, S., Milner, S., McHale, S., Worman, C., Flitcroft, C., Buckler, M., Bonn, A., Evans, M., Allot T., Crowe, S., Liddaman, L., Hobson G., Irvine B., Maxfield, E., James, T. (2005) Understanding gully blocking in deep peat, Geophysical Research Abstracts: 7: 00796.

Working Papers/Briefing Papers
Hubacek et al. (2005) Sustainable Uplands Scoping Study Final Report [for stakeholders] (2005) Final Report for Stakeholders.pdf

Reed, M.S., Prell, C. and Hubacek, K. (2005) Sustainable Upland Management for Multiple Benefits: a multi-stakeholder response to the Heather & Grass Burning Code consultation. Project report submitted to DEFRA’s consultation on the review of the Heather and Grass Etc. (Burning) Regulations 1986 and the Heather and Grass Burning Code 1994.

Reed, M.S. and Hubacek, K. (2005) Sustainable Upland Management for Multiple Benefits: Interim Report, March. Interim Report.doc

Stringer, L.C. (2004) Social Science Methods Annotated Bibliography. sustainableuplands/ Social Science Methods Annotated Bibliography.doc

Turner, A. (2005) GIS options: RELU upland moorland scoping study project. Working Paper 20, School of Geography, University of Leeds.

Turner, A.G.D. (2005) GIS Options Working Paper sustainableuplands/ GIS Options Working Paper.doc

Conference Papers and Presentations

Dougill, A., Reed, M., Hubacek, K., Burt, T., Chapman, P., Fraser, E., Holden, J., Kirkby, M., Prell, C., Sendzimir, J., Shotbolt, L., Stagl, S., Stringer, L., Turner, A. and Worrall, F. (2005) "Managing uncertainty in dynamic socio-environmental systems: an application to UK uplands" Presentation to RELU Workshop ‘People and the Rural Environment: Scoping the Research Agenda’ 18 May, York.

Evans M.G., Allott T., Holden J., Flitcroft C., and Bonn A. (2005) "Understanding gully blocking in deep peat" Presentation to Moors for the Future Conference, Castleton, September.

Hubacek, K., Dougill, A.J., Burt, T., Chapman, P., Fraser, E.D.G., Holden, J., Kirkby, M.T., Prell, C., Reed, M.S., Sendzimir, J., Shotbolt, L., Stagl, S., Stringer, L., Turner, A.G.D. and Worrall, F. (2005) "Doing Adaptive Learning Rural Research: Lessons from the Peak District National Park" Presenation to Bioscience 2005 - Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Mountain Areas of Europe: the challenge of interdisciplinary research, Greece, September.

Prell, C., Stringer, L.C. and Reed M.S. (2005) "Adapting to future change in the Peak District", Presentation to Moors for the Future National Conference, Castleton, September.

Reed, M.S. and Hubacek, K. (2005) "Sustainable upland management for multiple benefits" Presentation to UKPopNet Large-scale Upland Manipulation Feasibility Workshop, Stockolm Environment Centre, University of York, March.

Reed, M.S., Prell, C. and Hubacek, K. (2005) "Managing uncertainty in dynamic socio-environmental systems: an application to upland management" Presentation to Moors for the Future National Conference, Castleton, September.

Hubacek, K. (2004) Peak District Moorlands: drivers of change. Paper presented to Moors for the Future Partnership, Castleton, October.