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Sustaining livelihoods and landscape at Loweswater www.ceh.ac.uk Integrated science for our changing world Authors: Lisa Norton 1, John Rockliffe 2, Helen.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustaining livelihoods and landscape at Loweswater www.ceh.ac.uk Integrated science for our changing world Authors: Lisa Norton 1, John Rockliffe 2, Helen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustaining livelihoods and landscape at Loweswater www.ceh.ac.uk Integrated science for our changing world Authors: Lisa Norton 1, John Rockliffe 2, Helen Bennion 3, Angus Winchester 4 and Nick Haycock 5 1 Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Lancaster, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancs, LA1 4AP, UK lrn@ceh.ac.uk; 2 Mitchells Auction Company Ltd, Cockermouth, Cumbria 3 Dr Helen Bennion, Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography, University College London, Pearson Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK hbennion@geog.ucl.ac.uk; Department of History, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YG, UK a.winchester@lancaster.ac.uk; Haycock Associates Limited, Suite 1, Deer Park Business Centre, Eckington, Pershore, Worcs, WR10 3DN; nehaycock@haycock-associates.co.uklrn@ceh.ac.uka.winchester@lancaster.ac.uknehaycock@haycock-associates.co.uk Background This work forms part of a Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) project on Community Catchment Management at Loweswater. The project is focused on 1) understanding the relationships between the community, land and water at Loweswater and 2) investigating the potential for the community to work alongside other stakeholders in the management of the catchment. The project arises out of and builds on previous work in the Loweswater catchment and the commitment shown by farmers in the catchment towards improving lake water quality. Loweswater catchment in brief (2010) In the Lake District National Park – designated as a quiet valley Small catchment (~8km) and lake (<1km) 8 sheep and cattle farmers (most with land outside of catchment) ~ 50 permanent residents + visitors Church and pub just outside of catchment but no local school, shop, or health provision Landscape & agricultural management (2010) Attractive mixed landscape Fell 48%, In-bye 37%, Woodland 13% and Buildings 2% Small fields with152km of boundary features, over 450 individual trees 22 permanent dwellings Historical information Marked land use change 1945-1965 Horses Tractors 3-fold nitrate Arable Pastoral increase 55-72 In the mid nineteenth century liming and tile draining dramatically changed the landscape and lake Many farmers have diversified into B&B etc, agricultural income ranges from 32- 58% of farm income, of the remainder, most is from the Single Payment Schemes or agri-environment schemes. Total farming profit in the year of the survey was comparable with that for NW farms of this type, on average £7k. Despite similarities between enterprises, (largely beef and sheep), there is high variability between the 8 farmers in the catchment in terms of ; farm size, field size, stocking rate, boundary types and management, income and labour 6 farmers in the catchment are over 50 yrs old, 3 of those have potential inheritors – one of whom already farms elsewhere in the catchment area Research in the catchment reveals that it has previously been heavily mined as well as farmed and retains historic land use features including raised becks and stone and earth banks. Human influence on the catchment is set against a background of ongoing geological change influenced by climate. Linear features on farms in the catchment DateHoldings No. of cows No. of sheep 1614484503700 1850245500 1941223624977 200981941417 What do we want from the catchment? Ecosystem services may include; water, climate regulation, air quality, biodiversity, habitat diversity, cultural identity, recreation, aesthetic enjoyment, inspirations, heritage etc. Who is going to provide it? Currently 8 farmers manage the landscape for very little net income. They manage in the most cost/resource effective manner, capital works money from agri-environment schemes has resulted in repaired walls and some hedge planting/maintenance. For some farmers these activities are too labour intensive and not worth doing. Future management of the catchment is potentially in the hands of still fewer farmers who will have more to do in terms of managing larger numbers of stock. What role tradition? Back to horses and no fertiliser? Where will the farmers come from and what quality of life will they expect? 70% of walls are in good condition, 30% show signs of deterioration


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