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Further Analyses of of Women’s Institute survey of village greens of England 1990 - WC0808

A preliminary character assessment of village greens was undertaken by consultant ecologist Karl Crowther in 2011 (Defra Project Ref NR0145 – hereafter referred to as the Precursor Study). This used as its basis information gathered during the 1990 Women’s Institute National Survey of Town or Village Greens (hereafter referred to as the WI Survey), and involved an evaluation of some 210 sites.

During the Precursor Study the WI Survey was found also to include a total of 88 non-registered greens, whilst a subsequent assessment of all available WI Survey forms has revealed a further 65 (approx) such sites (i.e. a total of approximately 153) .

Defra is presently considering reforming the town and village greens registration system and further evidence is required on the character, use and benefits of greens. The data from the proposed study will underpin the reforms and provide useful evidence. It aims to extract additional data from the existing WI Study records to more fully realize the potential presented by this data set.

Using the results of the Precursor Study, in conjunction with the additional research outlined within this proposal, the primary objective is to explore whether a robust character test of village greens can be established. The full objectives will be as follows:

• To achieve optimal geographical coverage above that achieved during the Precursor Study, by investigating another 40 sites.
• Once this had been accomplished, the question of whether or not this addition of further sites brought about any changes to the suite of characteristics found in the Precursor Study would be investigated.
• On completion of this additional sampling, to then investigate and develop a character test for town and village greens.
• As far as the content of the forms will allow, to investigate whether the non-registered greens identified in the Precursor Study (n = 88) and those identified subsequently (n = 65 approx) would satisfy the character test.
1. To sample a number of additional registered WI Survey sites (n = 40) using the methodology as per the Precursor Project.
2. To examine whether the increased sample (n = 250) necessitated any changes to the characteristics outlined in the Precursor Project.
3. To explore options from a brief survey of comparable tests undertaken in other fields to design a range of possible character tests for village greens.
4. To apply these experimentally, and develop a statistically robust and defendable system to distinguish greens.
5. To evaluate the use of such an approach by using the sampled (n = 250) registered sites as a test sample.
6. To assess153 (approx) non-registered WI Survey sites using the Precursor Project methodology. Note: a significant number of WI Survey forms have been only partially completed, meaning that not all could be fully assessed against all criteria. On a very approximate initial assessment the actual number that could be fully assessed may be no more than 115.
7. The above completed, to then perform the proposed character test on those non-registered greens that could be fully assessed in the same manner as the registered sites (probably no more than 115 in total).
8. To compare and evaluate the results of character tests performed on the registered and non-registered sites, with particular emphasis on whether or not the non-registered sites satisfied the test criteria.
9. Given that it is probable that the non-registered sites have not been documented elsewhere, the final aim of this proposal is to scan, as far as copyright would allow, any documents, maps and photographs appended to non-registered sites included within the WI Survey.
10. Prepare and submit final report.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : WC0808-VG-Further Study-Final 2012   (1790k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2012

Cost: £8,466
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Karl Crowther
Town and Village Greens              
Fields of Study
Wildlife Conservation