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A Study to Generate New Understandings of Ecological, Economic and Social Interactions in a Lake District Environment

This scoping study is looking critically at the nature of different kinds of knowledge (social, ecological, economic, cultural) that may be brought to bear on the ecological problems in Loweswater. It will create the possibility of dialogue between those with a stake in Loweswater (notably the 13 farming families that live and work there), environmental agencies and natural and social scientists.The aim is to try to understand the workings of the catchment and the linkages between social and environmental factors impacting on its 'health'.

The study arose from the discovery that farmers within the catchment had organised themselves into a group to address the perceived issue of declining water quality and associated algal blooms on Loweswater resulting from agricultural practices. CEH are currently negotiating with Defra and the farmers to provide them with the data they need in order to verify and appropriately address this issue. However, the present project looks beyond the reductionist approach of cause and effect to explore techniques that include different forms of knowledge and frames of reference. It is addressing issues of problem-ownership, problem definition, problem characterisation and ways of working through the solutions to these problems.

  • Outputs (3)