'We're Farmers not Foresters': Farmers' Decision-Making and Behaviours towards Managing Trees for Pests and Diseases

Ambrose-Oji, Bianca, Goodenough, Alice ORCID: 0000-0003-0862-2894, Urquhart, Julie ORCID: 0000-0001-5000-4630, Hall, Clare and Karlsdóttir, Berglind ORCID: 0000-0001-6157-3804 (2022) 'We're Farmers not Foresters': Farmers' Decision-Making and Behaviours towards Managing Trees for Pests and Diseases. Forests, 13 (7). ART 1030. doi:10.3390/f13071030

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Policy makers are challenged to find ways of influencing and supporting land manager behaviours and actions to deal with the impacts of increasing pressure from tree pests and diseases. This paper investigates attitudes and behaviours of farmers towards managing trees on farmland for pests and diseases. Data collection with farmers included deliberative workshops and semi-structured interviews. Data were thematically analyzed using the COM-B (Capacity/Opportunity/Motivation-Behaviour) model to understand the drivers of farmer behaviour for tree health. Results suggested farmers had some knowledge, experience and skills managing trees, but they did not recognize this capacity. Social norms and networks impacted the context of opportunity to act for tree health, along with access to trusted advice and labour, and the costs associated with management action. Motivational factors such as self-efficacy, perceived benefits of acting, personal interest and sense of agency were impacted by farmers’ self-identity as food producers. The COM-B model also provides a framework for identifying intervention design through a Behaviour Change Wheel. This suggests that enhancing self-efficacy supported by the right kind of advice and guidance, framed and communicated in farmers’ terms and brokered by appropriate knowledge intermediaries, seems critical to building action amongst different farmer types and attitudinal groups.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Farmers and trees; Farmer decision making; Tree health; Policy design; COM_B model
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General) > S589.75 Agriculture and the environment
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Anna Kerr
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2022 12:51
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 14:48
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/11453

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