The social construction of landscape scale conservation projects as delivered by The Wildlife Trusts in England

Pritchard, Stephen G. (2017) The social construction of landscape scale conservation projects as delivered by The Wildlife Trusts in England. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Wildlife conservation in England is in transition because nature reserve based conservation has three weaknesses. They have not reversed biodiversity decline, nor do they provide the means for species to move across the landscape in response to climate change, and most reserves are too small to be part of an ecosystem approach to conservation. Landscape scale conservation (LSC) addresses these deficiencies. Therefore, the purpose of my thesis was to understand the meaning of LSC as implemented in the Living Landscapes schemes of The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) movement in England. My research also examined the governance and management of these schemes. I used a constructivist approach to investigate the institutions and discourses of Living Landscapes. To do this, I conducted an email survey of the 36 Trusts in England and then studied the available documentation that describes Living Landscapes. Then I carried out a series of in-depth interviews with stakeholders associated with five Wildlife Trusts. The purpose of these interviews was to understand what their Living Landscape schemes meant to these stakeholders. The email survey and subsequent document study revealed the range and type of Living Landscapes across England. LSC is complex, suggesting that ecosystem services are too intricate a typography to assign to these schemes. I developed an understanding of what is meant by LSC through the lens of stakeholders in Living Landscapes. I examined TWT’s LSC vision which revealed the discourses and formal and informal institutions of Living Landscapes. I also examined Lockwood’s framework for LSC governance, one of LSC’s institutions. My research examined the Wildlife Trust movement’s approach to delivering LSC. Two types of institutions are evident, informal institutions define the physical attributes of Living Landscapes, whilst formal institutions are characteristic of their governance and management. Its key discourses of conservation, education and community engagement define Living Landscapes, whilst ecosystem services emerged as a new discourse to reflect the multifaceted cultural and historical elements in the landscape. TWT’s once insular approach to governance is in transition to a pluralistic model that encourages greater community involvement. Therefore, if LSC is to be a template for successful conservation it must embrace a wider definition of both conservation and governance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Landscape scale conservation (LSC); Nature conservation; Nature reserves; Living Landscapes schemes; England
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General) > S900 Conservation of natural resources including land conservation
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture > SB481 Parks and public reservations
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2018 16:22
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:43

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