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Assessing the Effect of Policy Interventions on Agricultural Landscapes - LM0425

This contract will develop the underlying ‘time series’ data for a selection of the 18 landscape study areas which are being used as survey areas in Defra Research and Development project BD5303 (Developing a method for reporting and monitoring the direct and cumulative impacts of Environmental Stewardship on the maintenance and enhancement of landscape character and quality). It will also provide a limited amount of interpretation, both quantitative and qualitative to enable us to consider how previous policy interventions, both agri-environment (Countryside Premium, Environmentally Sensitive Areas, Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship) and other land management practices, have influenced the agricultural landscape change since 1945.

The intention is that the outputs of this project will provide the means to ‘visualise’ the effects of policy change; including the impacts resulting from regulation and agri-environment schemes, on our agricultural landscapes, and thereby inform ongoing policy evaluation and scheme development. This would include consideration of both intended and unintended consequences of policy interventions in specific places, from which inferences on the wider agricultural landscape can be drawn
The tasks are:

Task 1: Assemble the aerial photographic material (both current and historic), ground based photography and historic mapping and transfer this material into a GI environment for a selection of the 18 study areas currently being used in the Defra Research and Development Project BD5303.

Task 2: Once the GI environment has been created, undertake the quantitative analysis (i.e. count or calculate) the following landscape features
o Number of hedgerow trees and in-field trees.
o Other landscape features which may be apparent e.g. ponds, (to be agreed once material has been assembled).
o Length of hedgerows.
o Area of woodland.
o Area of traditional orchards.
o Area of permanent pasture (where this can be confidently determined).
o Broad agricultural land use particularly for arable and pastoral.
o Semi-natural features particularly areas of moorland and lowland heath.

Task 3 : The final task will be a qualitative analysis of apparent land management practices and known contemporary policy drivers, interventions or ‘events’ – including the impacts of regulation, incentivisation (e.g. agri-environment schemes) or advice.

Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : PIAL Final.docx   (967k)
• TPS - Two Page Summary : LM0425 2 pg sum   (331k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2013

Cost: £34,638
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Environmental Stewardship