Briefing – Natural Englands Landscape Monitoring

This briefing highlighted the value of evidence from landscape change surveillance and monitoring for designated landscapes management planning and put this in the context of Natural England’s work to develop national indicators for landscape change using the NCA profiles as an ‘all England’ spatial framework. Also how this work fits with the Natural England Conservation Strategy.

It provided an update on related strands of landscape monitoring such as

  • The collaborative Framework for Monitoring Environmental Outcomes in Protected Landscapes (set up in 2012) including headline trends in the annual series of data releases to 2016, and looking ahead for discussion session: ‘how the framework might be better utilised and improved to complement local monitoring initiatives?’
  • Outline the Participatory GIS techniques for mapping data on people’s cultural values and experiences in the landscape (e.g.a local project piloted in the Arnside&Silverdale AONB)
  • Some headline findings from the Environmental Stewardship landscape monitoring 2014-16 commissioned from LUC
  • New Agricultural Landscapes (NAL) visual and farmer re-surveys 2016/17. Some findings from this long-term landscape monitoring project since 1972

Summary of what participants took away from the session

The ‘evidence value’ of pro-active and systematic monitoring of landscape change is not always given a high priority, or the resources needed, within the ambit of planning for landscape conservation and enhancement. The session helped to refresh the profile of evidence gathering to help steer management plans and inform decision-making. The session stimulated thinking, and ideas, for designated landscape participants to consider using some of the existing evidence or techniques, and gain insights on how they might approach implementing some new landscape monitoring projects in their patch. This might include use of satellite imagery, fixed point photography, or public participatory GIS techniques. It outlined some technical approaches to monitoring and headline results on trends, including the FMEOPL project and participants will have the opportunity to offer direct feedback, and raise issues for themselves.

Briefing Speaker: Chris Bolton, Natural England (Principal Specialist, Landscape)

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