Sustainable landscape governance: Lessons from a catchment based study in whole landscape design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the implementation of governance for sustainable landscapes, based on a catchment case study in lowland England. A participatory research process, spanning six and a half years, employed formal and informal in-depth interviews, focus group work and workshop techniques with 71 stakeholders representative of a wide range of interests in the catchment. A scenario design process within a GIS framework was used as a focus for capturing the key issues and visions of the stakeholders. Two contrasting but plausible scenarios for 2020 emerged from this process; one scenario was driven by the sustainable intensification of agricultural production and world trade, the other by the enhanced protection of ecosystem services and multi-objective land use. It was clear from discussions with stakeholders that the mechanisms for delivering an integrated approach to landscape management are not currently in place, although there have been some policy successes that could be built upon. There is also a need for new approaches to land tenure which include tax incentives and improved forms of cooperation and leadership in both policy and contiguous landscape stewardship. The methodology itself was appreciated by the stakeholders who found it useful to think more holistically. In addition, the study demonstrates an approach that individual practitioners and researchers can develop the skills to implement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this