School of Computing


Contested Common Land: environmental governance, law and sustainable land management

The project aims to place the sustainable management of Commons in historical perspective by using four case studies to illustrate the changing patterns of land use, differing management principles and regulatory mechanisms applied to common land from c.1600 to the modern day. These are drawn from Commons in Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Norfolk and Powys. The research marries archival evidence with qualitative data generated by semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in the four case study areas. Virtual Reality imaging software and tabletop interfaces are also being used to illustrate the impacts on the biodiversity and landscape of each case study of different land management options for delivering sustainable management. Various stakeholder meetings provide a forum for the dissemination of the research to key stakeholders and policy makers: and also inform decision making by stakeholders seeking to improve the management of the commons in the case study areas, within the new self regulatory framework of the Commons Bill 2006.

Collaborators: Dr. Angus Winchester and Dr. Eleanor Straughton (University of Lancaster).