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Monitoring the impact of ES on Landscape Character and Quality - LM0434

Description
This specification is for a contract to plan and undertake the first year of a Rapid Field Survey assessment programme, utilising field monitoring techniques developed in the Defra-commissioned project ‘BD5303: Cumulative impact of Environmental Stewardship on landscape character’ (see Annex 3), to assess the impact of Environmental Stewardship (ES) on the landscape character and quality in selected areas.

This contract will extend the field sampling work undertaken in BD5303 in order to broaden the evidence base. The survey design will result in a broad and shallow data set which will complement, and be informed by, the deep and narrow data generated by BD5303. This will increase the statistical robustness of the evidence base by increasing the number of study areas i.e. an increase in the sample rate off-set by only a partial loss of survey detail i.e. the range of data collected. The intention is to provide a greater degree of confidence in the analytical conclusions reached from the assessment of the data in terms of both geographical extent and subject matter so that the level of generality and therefore it’s application as a rapid method can be assessed.

This contract will therefore build on the baseline created by BD5303 and go on to establish what may become an on-going rolling programme of monitoring activity which will provide the narrative to understand the impact of Environmental Stewardship and in the future, NELMS, on the landscape of rural England.
Objective
•to utilise field monitoring techniques developed ‘BD5303: Cumulative impact of Environmental Stewardship on landscape character’ to undertake rapid field survey assessment;
•to assess the impact of Environmental Stewardship on the landscape character and quality in selected areas;
•to develop a baseline to underpin the future monitoring of the landscape outcomes of both the final years of ES agreements and of the new NELMS agreements;
•to allow potential comparative research into environmental change over time on holdings where agri-environment agreements cease; and
•to assess the effectiveness of the rapid assessment methodology and provide any recommendations for improvements to future field work undertaken in terms of logistics, potential for co-ordination with other survey teams, recording and reporting mechanisms
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2015

Cost: £133,470
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Land Use Consultants
Keywords
Environmental Stewardship              
Landscape