Last Updated 13 Apr 2020

Vision For The English Uplands In 2050 Environmental Sciences Essay

Category 2050, Environment, science
Essay type Research
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Introducing the English highlands. The English highlands ( figure 1 ) are home to over 800,000 people in rural countries and 1.2 million in more urban countries ( CRC, 2010 ) . The landscape reflects centuries of human direction in the past and is maintained by continued stewardship, incorporating extremely valued and visited countries with a wealth of cultural and natural assets that provide a wealth of chance and potency ( CRC, 2010 ) . Despite this, most of the highlands are designated by the European Commission as Badly Disadvantaged Areas ( SDAs ) or Less Favoured Areas ( LFAs ) ( figure 2 ) , due to their low agricultural potency ( CRC, 2010 ) . It has been suggested that this may wrongly act upon determinations associating to the English highlands ( CRC, 2010 ) .

The economic system and landscape of the highlands is particularly delicate in the current economic clime ( Butterworth, 2011 ) , which can take to the loss of important local employers ( CRC, 2010 ) . However, the highlands have the potency to back up a green economic system and low C hereafter by the coevals of valuable public goods and market merchandises ( CRC, 2010 ) . Whilst there is grounds of concern enterprise, endeavor and energy, endeavor is limited by few employment chances, peculiarly in more distant countries, and those that exist are frequently low pay and seasonal ( CRC, 2010 ) . The bulk of people in the highlands are employed in touristry related industries, sweeping, retail and fabrication ( CRC, 2010 ) . Land based employment makes up 5.2 % of highland workers ( CRC, 2010 ) .

Figure 1: Map of England to demo SDAs and LFDs ( CRC, 2010 ) .

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Land usage industries in the highlands

Land uses in the highlands can do struggle, but frequently can be in harmoniousness with each other.

One manner to place utilizations of English highlands is to split them into purveying, modulating and cultural services ( CRC, 2010 ) . In this manner, it becomes easier to place struggles and countries of complementarity.




Food ( farm animal )

Climate ordinance



Air quality ordinance

Diversion e.g. walking, field athleticss


Water quality ordinance



Flood hazard bar

Cultural heritage

Fresh H2O

Wildfire hazard bar


Water, clime alteration and agriculture patterns

70 % of the UK 's imbibing H2O is sourced from the highlands ( CRC, 2010 ) . The UKPC ( 2010 ) undertaking that the Lowlandss will go hotter and desiccant and hence the highlands may go an even more of import H2O beginning ( Natural England, 2009 ) . Land direction in the highlands significantly impacts river flows and inundation hazards ( CRC, 2010 ) . Climate alteration is projected to increase inundation hazard in the hereafter ( CRC, 2010 ) .

A turning job is brown H2O from peat dirts, which poses a challenge to imbibing H2O proviso in the highlands ( CRC, 2010 ) ; in fact H2O is going browner in many highland countries ( Natural England, 2009 ) . Removing coloring material is expensive and uses important sums of energy and chemicals which produce a sludge byproduct ( Natural England, 2009 ) . Soil compression caused by croping farm animal, blocked drains on peat dirts and remotion of chaparral and trees can do reduced absorbancy of H2O catchments ( Natural England, 2009 ) .

Farming and the environment

Farming in the uplands consists chiefly of farm animal agriculture ; 44 % of engendering Ewe and 30 % of beef cattles are farmed in the English highlands ( CRC, 2010 ) . Highland farms are frequently particularly vulnerable to policy reform and economic alteration ( National Trust, 2011 ) . It has been suggested that 1000s of occupations depend on highland agriculture, for illustration the highlands in Yorkshire provide 34,000 occupations in agribusiness and touristry, supplying ?1.8bn in gross revenues ( Butterworth, 2011 ) . The CRC ( 2010 ) studies that many highland husbandmans are disquieted about the economic impacts of future CAP reforms. Butterworth ( 2011 ) argues that farming in the highlands must be earnestly considered in current CAP dialogues to safeguard the hereafter of highland agriculture.

Domestic animate being farming for nutrient is extremely carbon intensifier and contributed about 18 % to anthropogenetic clime alteration in 2006 ( CIWF, 2009 and FAO, 2006 ) . With universe meat ingestion projected to increase from 229m metric tons in 2001 to 465m metric tons by 2050 ( FAO, 2006 ) , stairss need to be taken to cut down this end product. Hotter drier summers may take to decreased handiness of feedcrops and H2O for domestic animate being agriculture ( CIWF, 2009 ) . An increasing population may take to less land handiness, as infinite to farm farm animal and turn their nutrient competes with infinite to construct houses, works woods and farm harvests and biofuel ( CIWF, 2009 ) .

Livestock agriculture has declined due to the de-coupling of payments from production, the impacts of Foot and Mouth and de-stocking as a consequence of Single Farm Payment and to run into environmental demands in order to have subsidies from understandings such as the Higher Level Stewardship ( HLS ) strategy and Uplands Entry Level Scheme ( UELS ) ( which are frequently indispensable for endurance of farm concerns ) . This is an country of struggle ; conservationists encourage de-stocking to cut down overgrazing and protect home grounds, whereas hill husbandmans believe the pattern is misguided as it undermines traditional hill farming patterns ( CRC, 2010 ) . Many perceive de-stocking determinations to be non-participatory, top-down and ignorant of local cognition ( CRC, 2010 ) .

Farmers feel that the bulk of parks are presently over or under-grazed due to inadequate guidelines ( FCC, 2010 ) . Overgrazing can do dirt eroding, release of C shops and altered river flow and deepness ( Defra, 2010 ) . Some of this is due to overgrazing of globally rare cover bog, which is protected by UKBAP position and active cover bog is included in the EC Habitats and Species Directive ( Defra, 2010 ) . Blanket bog presently covers 4 % of England and supports works species such as ling ( Calluna vulgaris ) cross-leaved heath ( Erica tetralix ) and the Sphagnum species, which vary regionally ( Defra, 2010 ) . Animal species found here include the great xanthous humblebee ( Bombus distinguendus ) , dragonfly gatherings and the internationally protected aureate plover ( Pluvialis apricaris ) ( Defra, 2010 ) . Blanket bog is England 's largest C shop with about 300 million metric tons of CO2 being stored ( Defra, 2010 ) , there is 15,890ha of cover bog in the Peak District National Park entirely ( Moors for the Future, 2007 ) . Defra ( 2010 ) suggests that overgrazing, run outing and firing in the highlands has resulted in 381,000 metric tons of C to be released yearly. Carbon released from cover bog could go an even more important issue in the hereafter, as the hotter summers and heater winters and alterations in precipitation projected for the hereafter ( UKCP, 2010 ) could alter peatlands from a C sink into a C beginning ( CRC, 2010 ) .

Forestry and preservation

Woodland and forestry makes up 12 % of the highlands, which is largely managed by The Forestry Commission ( CRC, 2010 ) . Positive environmental benefits provided by tree planting in the highlands include renewable energy production, reduced dirt eroding, improved C segregation, reduced flooding hazards and improved H2O quality ( CRC, 2010 ) . Other benefits include the creative activity of employment from bio-energy strategies ( CRC, 2010 ) . At present clip it is ill-defined what the national guiding scheme for forestry is, as an independent panel is being established to see future forestry policy ( Spelman, 2011 ) .

Diversion, preservation and agriculture patterns

Diversion in the highlands includes out-of-door escapade, game shot ( CRC, 2010 ) and hill walking ( Natural England, 2009 ) . Around 40 million people visit National Parks in the English Uplands yearly, passing about ?1.78bn ( CRC, 2010 ) . English highlands contain 86 % of unfastened entree land in England ( CRC, 2010 ) . One ground for this may be that National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty ( AONBs ) make up 75 % of the highlands and 53 % of England 's Sites of Special Scientific Interest ( SSSIs ) are situated at that place ( CRC, 2010 ) .

Historic characteristics in the uplands face menaces from overgrazing and dirt compression, undergrazing and chaparral and bracken invasion, and hapless direction of the historic environment for biodiversity and other ecosystem services ( Natural England, 2009 ) . It is frequently voluntary administrations that engage in custodies on preservation and protection of the environment and heritage characteristics and supply recreational and educational activities ( CRC, 2010 ) , which has a positive impact on the touristry industry, as it is the beautiful environment and cultural heritage that tourists visit the highlands to see.

The impacts of touristry on the environment in the uplands include increased fire hazard, dirt and pathway eroding which causes increased C loss from dirt and increased C emanations from private conveyance ; for illustration 93 % of all Lake District tourers travel by auto ( Natural England, 2009 ) . However, these issues can supply an chance for community coherence ; for illustration voluntaries in the Lake District are presently transporting out footpath Restoration work ( Natural England, 2009 ) .

5.5 % of English highlands is covered by heather moorland, some of which is managed for grouse ( Moors for the Future, 2007 ) . Grouse hiting for diversion has existed in the Northern highlands for over 150 old ages ( Natural England, 2009 ) . Moors for the Future ( 2007 ) suggest that long-run grouse direction has changed cover bogs into heather moorland. Natural England suggests that merely 14 % of moorland SSSIs in England are in favorable status due to overgrazing and inappropriate combustion ( Moors for the Future, 2007 ) . Controlled combustion has been increasing over the last 30 old ages ( Yallop, 2006 ) . Appropriate combustion can better biodiversity by making a wider scope of home ground, for illustration, the aureate plover prefers short flora ( Moors for the Future, 2007 ) and moorland direction for grouse has expanded their scope ( Game & A ; Wildlife Conservation Trust, 2011 ) . However, this disadvantages other species, for illustration those that require tall ling ( Moors for the Future, 2007 ) . Traditional methods of firing rhythms have caused struggle, for illustration in 2003 English Nature blamed grouse directors for irresponsible moorland combustion in a particular protection country ( BBC News, 2003 ) . Regular burn rhythms cut down wildfire hazard by cut downing the sum of old ling ( fuel ) ( Moors for the Future, 2007 ) . Therefore, appropriate combustion may be an of import direction technique in the hotter, drier summers of the hereafter projected by the UKCP ( UKCP, 2010 ) .

In 1992-1997 the joint bird of prey survey took topographic point in Langholm, Scotland ( Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, 2011 ) . The intent of the survey was to happen out the effects of non pull offing moorland for grouse ( Bellamy, 2005 ) . The consequences showed that biddy harrier Numberss increased significantly ( figure 3 ) , a brace of mobile falcons moved into the country and all moorland bird, including grouse, Numberss decreased significantly ( Bellamy, 2005 and Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, 2011 ) . The survey compared Langholm to nearby managed Moors and found that the Langholm grouse population failed to retrieve from the parasitic disease Strongylosis during the Joint Raptor Study when biddy harasser Numberss had increased, whereas they recovered good in the nearby managed Moors ( figure 4 ) . Four old ages after the survey, hen harrier Numberss had decreased to two braces ( figure 3 ) due to reduced quarry ( Bellamy, 2005 ) . This had a negative impact non merely on wildlife preservation, but on touristry and diversion excessively, which in bend negatively impacted local concerns such as stores and hotels that had antecedently received good income from taws and bird spectators ( Bellamy, 2005 ) .

Figure 2: The ruddy line shows Numberss of engendering biddy harasser braces at Langholm and the green saloon chart shows the figure of biddy harasser cheques at Langholm ( right axis ) ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) .

Figure 4: Number of grouse shooting at Langholm ( green ) compared to two nearby Moors ( brown and Grey ) . The cyclic alterations reflect periodic parasitic disease Strongylosis ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) .

The Joint Raptor Study suggests that responsible grouse direction does non conflict with bird preservation and can really be good ( Bellamy, 2005 ) . Unfortunately, struggles still exist and some people regard the violent death of grouse for athletics as inhumane. However, Bellamy ( 2005 ) argues that possibly it is better to hold free scope grouse who are killed immediately than utilizing the land for big farm animal farms where the animate beings have a decreased quality of life.

An illustration of diversion, farming and preservation bing in harmoniousness occurs at the 5,500ha Bolton Abbey Estate in North Yorkshire, where managed ling Moors are classed as a SSSI, a European Special Area of Conservation for its works communities and European Special Protection Area for its bird population ( Natural England, 2009 ) . The land supports and provides grouse shot, recreational walking, educational visits, farm animal graze, heather honey production, sustainable forest, rich biodiversity and a C shop in the peat dirts ( Natural England, 2009 ) .

The Vision in 2050

The highlands are considered to be a national plus, with important environmental, cultural and societal value and chance ( CRC, 2010 ) supplying people with procedures necessary for life such as nutrient, H2O, civilization and diversion. The abundant and diverse scope of wildlife exists in the abundant and diverse scope of good quality home grounds, which are valued and protected by the people. Farming patterns remain largely traditional and do minimum injury to the environment, and husbandmans receive a good income. Restored cover bog shops huge sums of C. The highlands are no longer regarded as countries of terrible disadvantage but alternatively countries of chance, as alterations in the yesteryear have resulted in the creative activity of many occupations and chances for sustainable concern, ensuing in a thriving, happy community. The land and all its natural and cultural assets are managed sustainably. Policy and determination devising utilises the bottom-up attack and involves local communities and is antiphonal to altering state of affairss.

Top Ten Menu of Actions

All determinations should be more participatory and area-specific

Policy should non be nescient of local cognition ( FCC, 2010 and CRC, 2010 ) . Alternatively it should take into history the cognition and experience of local people ( FCC, 2010 ) .

Policy should be flexible and antiphonal to alter ( CRC, 2010 ) .

Management determinations should be made locally ( FCC, 2010 ) .

Safeguarding H2O and cut downing inundation hazard

Planting more trees and chaparral to increase the absorbancy of H2O catchments and responsible decrease overgrazing, combustion and land drainage would cut down deluging hazard ( Natural England, 2009 ) .

A better apprehension of drainage forms across each river catchment and how land direction influences them is required ( CRC, 2010 ) .

Reducing overgrazing reconstructing degraded moorland may assist to better H2O coloring material ( Natural England, 2009 ) .

Improved forest direction

More forest should be planted ( Natural England, 2011 ) .

Forests should be more connected to assist wildlife adapt to climate alteration ( Natural England, 2011 ) .

Improved grazing direction

Croping should be limited to identified suited specific countries of land.

There should be limited to no croping on protected moorland.

Farmers should recognize that nutrient production from farm animal is interlinked with other systems such as H2O quality ( Natural England, 2011 ) .

Stocking rates should be decided locally.

Education for the populace and for concerns

Essential highland services should be recognised by all ( CRC, 2010 ) .

Upland instruction programmes and activites should be implemented to enthuse and actuate people ( Natural England, 2011 ) .

Promoting green endeavor

The UK has a duty to cut down C emanations (, 2008 ) . In line with this, green engineerings need to be utilised to their full potency.

Bio-energy strategies based on forest biomass should be implemented throughout the highlands to lend to upland economic systems and make employment ( CRC, 2010 ) .

Renewable energy concerns ( H2O power, solar, wind engineering etc ) should be encouraged ( Natural England, 2011 ) .

Support should go available for green endeavor to let the highlands to make its full economic potency ( CRC, 2010 ) .

Secured hereafter for farming

At least one land-based college to present farm direction classs should be in each vicinity ( FCC, 2010 ) . This should assist to guarantee immature people learn the accomplishments necessary for highland agriculture.

A alteration in highland policies

A flexible and antiphonal new national scheme that is integrated across sectors, administrative countries and sections should be implemented, based on local cognition and scientific fact ( CRC, 2010 ) . The new national scheme would cut down bureaucratism, duplicates and the inefficiencies present in current policy ( CRC, 2010 ) . This would let the people and concerns of the highlands to better understand how they can protect and heighten the highlands ( CRC, 2010 ) .

To guarantee effectual execution an single accountable to Curates of BIS, CLG, DECC and DEFRA should be appointed ( CRC, 2010 ) .

Policies should put out clear aims and marks and the effects should be monitored so feedback can be provided to husbandmans ( FCC, 2010 ) . This will enable them to present better environmental results ( FCC, 2010 ) .

Continued preservation

All concerns and substructure should be sited to understate negative impacts on the environment.

Existing preservation guidelines should be improved and adhered to.

Grouse direction should go on, but be sensitive to preservation, diversion and agriculture demands.


All stakeholders in the highlands should be encouraged to co-operate with each other to accomplish long term consequences and foolproof support ( Natural England, 2011 ) .


The uplands face a hereafter of uncertainness, but this provides great chance. With everyone working to back up and heighten the highlands, this vision can be used to assist continue the positive and understate the negative facets of the highlands ( Natural England, 2011 ) .

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