Walking the Land: Building an Ecosystem Approach in the Highlands & Islands by connecting cultural drivers with woodland expansion interests

Activity: Talk / Presentation / Podcast / WebinarOral presentation


The Highlands and Islands of Scotland are steeped in a history of land use conflict. Traditional private sporting estates dominate the landscape, which prioritise management for hunting and tourism. There is little impetus for woodland to become an important consideration for the majority of land owners due to poor past decision-making, perceived management issues and a lack of commercial value for current stagnating stands. Scotland’s woodland expansion strategies and push for domestic renewable energy sources has refocused the potential role of woodlands but landowner engagement remains a difficult barrier. An inductive approach is taken to explore the cultural drivers behind decision-making by working in the field with individual landowners and managers within 3 contiguous private estates, over 4 diverse case-study areas. Using resilience theory and landscape approach the study combines the use of qualitative interview data (Dictaphone & GPS), spatial mapping (Mobile Mapping App), economic options (Forest Energy Tool) and clustered land use collaboration workshops. Enabling the researcher to build a detailed picture of woodlands’ future within a traditional sporting landscape and how an Ecosystem Approach might begin to reconcile clashing land uses.
Period5 Oct 201411 Oct 2014
Event titleIUFRO World Congress: "Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People: The Role of Research"
Event typeConference
LocationSalt Lake City, United StatesShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational