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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

A Landscape-Scale Analysis of the Sustainability of the Hill Farming Economy and Impact of Farm Production Decisions on

Moorlands support traditional hill farming communities, are home to species of international conservation concern and provide emblematic landscapes with high recreational value. This project aims to discover how we can manage moorland ecosystems in a way that delivers sustainable hill farming communities while also protecting the environment.

Taking the Peak District as a case study, we will examine how farmers respond to policy changes and how they can design business plans to cope with these changes most effectively. We will explore the impact that hill farming has on moorland species and predict how those impacts are likely to change over the next 20 years. To do this, we will develop new modelling tools that allow us to examine the dynamics of moorland change across whole landscapes; how the actions of one farmer affect those of neighbours; and how upland bird species rely on a diversity of habitats across the landscape.

We will conduct valuation workshops with the general public to discover what it is they most value about moorlands. Finally, we will combine these results to evaluate how effectively different policies balance the multiple demands on moorlands. We will deliver a diversity of products of immediate relevance to stakeholders, policy-makers and the scientific community.