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9. Case studies 2: Re-wilding the uplands. Lecture outline: Trees for Life The Carrifran Wildwood Wild Ennerdale Guest lecture: Alan Watson Featherstone – Trees for Life. Wilderness.

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9 case studies 2 re wilding the uplands
9. Case studies 2:Re-wilding the uplands

Lecture outline:

  • Trees for Life
  • The Carrifran Wildwood
  • Wild Ennerdale
  • Guest lecture: Alan Watson Featherstone – Trees for Life

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wilderness
Wilderness

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” US Wilderness Act(1964)

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

slide3
“For some, wildernesses are desolate places outside of the humanized realm, either to be avoided or brought under some kind of human dominion, and for others, they are places to practice humility, experience a certain vulnerability and acknowledge the creative and even destructive powers of the natural world.”Peter Taylor in Beyond Conservation: a wildland strategy (2005, p.8)

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

self willed land
Self-willed land

“True wilderness is a land that has supreme naturalness and is free of any human control. It is a self-willed land because plants and animals can thrive there, in their own unfettered communities.”(Mark Fisher)

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wilderness britain
Wilderness Britain?

“Those regions or locations that are remote, devoid of human features and with natural or near-natural ecosystems.

…wilderness is just one extreme on a continuum - a kind of sliding scale of human modification of the environment - from the 100% artificial buildings of the city centre through to the pristine nature found in remote locations. The position along this wilderness continuum at which wilderness occurs has perhaps more to do with individual perceptions than it does with ecological conditions.”

Carver (1996)

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wild land
Wild land

“Wildland in Scotland is relatively remote and inaccessible, not noticeably affected by contemporary human activity, and offering high-quality opportunities to escape from the pressures of everyday living and to find spiritual and physical refreshment”.NTS (2002)

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

question
Question

What are the attributes which contribute to or detract from a wildland experience

(i.e. “enhancers and detractors”)?

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

re wilding
Re-wilding

“In Britain, an ethos of wildland is emerging in which human intervention is minimal and natural processes are respected.” (Peter Taylor, 2005, p.14)

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

slide9
“Self-willed land for its own sake will only exist in Britain if land is held inalienably in the public good and that legislation exists to define its natural character, and thus the limits to human intervention.”(Mark Fisher)

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

approaches to re wilding
Approaches to re-wilding
  • “Letting go“
    • if a landscape is left unmanaged for a long enough period, nature will take over and produce its own entirely natural landscape
    • may not necessarily be the same landscape that existed before human settlement, but it will be natural
  • “Wild by design“
    • we may need to actively 'design' wild landscapes by assisting the regeneration of native species to recreate a more natural looking landscape
    • limited economic activity in the form of low intensity grazing and recreation is still possible and indeed desirable
  • From protectionism to strategic habitat creation

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

trees for life
Trees for Life
  • Vision: a large core area in the north-central Highlands of Scotland
    • Ecological principles – “Nature knows best”
    • practical demonstration realities of ecological restoration
    • including:
      • mix of planting programmes
      • keeping out the deer
      • natural regeneration
      • re-introduction of native mammals

Guest Lecture: Alan Watson Featherstone

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

the carrifran wildwood
The Carrifran Wildwood
  • Vision: “…to re-create in the Southern Uplands of Scotland an extensive tract of mainly forested wilderness, with most of the rich diversity of native species present in the area before human activities became dominant.”
    • past conditions informing future natural
    • no commercial exploitation
    • careful management of human impacts
      • open access to all
      • inspirational and an educational resource

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

the carrifran wildwood cont d
The Carrifran wildwood (cont’d)
  • The site:
    • eastern limit of Dumfries & Galloway in the Moffat Hills, Scottish Borders
    • approx. 1600 acres (650 hectares)
    • overgrazed sheepwalk, grouse moor and sitka spruce plantation
    • relict broadleaf trees in steep gullies (cleuchs)

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

the carrifran wildwood cont d14
The Carrifran wildwood (cont’d)
  • Existing designations:
    • Regional Scenic Area under the local authority Structure Plan
    • Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA)
    • Moffat Hills Grade 1 Nature Conservation Review Site (NCC 1991)
    • Moffat Hills Site of Special Scientific Interest
      • original SSSI notification was in 1956 and re-notifications have taken place in 1972, 1974 and 1988
    • candidate Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under European Union legislation.

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

the carrifran wildwood cont d15
The Carrifran wildwood (cont’d)
  • History:
    • Project conceived by local grassroots community action in early 1990s with a simple vision to create a near-natural woodland landscape where “there would be a chance – in years to come – of losing oneself in the woods”
    • Money to purchase raised by private subscription (£450k) and charitable trusts (£150k) with support from JMT and SNH
    • Purchased in 2000 and 30,000 trees planted

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

the carrifran wildwood cont d16
The Carrifran wildwood (cont’d)
  • Ethos:
    • maximise the role of natural processes – minimise use of physical and chemical intervention… make the wildwood feelwild
    • aim to create a functioning ecosystem that can evolve over centuries and where human influence will gradually decrease as nature takes over
      • side-stepped ongoing debate on what is natural in favour of positive action
      • maintain high level of volunteer participation through volunteer days and boundary warden scheme
      • nature ultimately in charge, though no room for re-introductions or large herbivores or predators

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

the carrifran wildwood cont d17
The Carrifran wildwood (cont’d)
  • Scientific basis:
    • strong links with academics and professional foresters
      • learn from experience elsewhere
      • discussion on what trees/shrubs appropriate for establishment according to pollen record, NVC class and ESC analysis
      • helped apply for WGS funding
    • seed collection by volunteers from local sources within ancient woodland to ensure provenance
    • planting patterns sensitive to habitat niche and landscape

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

slide18

Small enclosures planted as seed source for regeneration of montane scrub

Unplanted for natural regeneration

Upland oak-birch woodland (Type W17)with Rowan, Holly, Hazel, Juniper and Shrub Willows

Juniper woodland (Type W19) with Birch, Rowan and Scots Pine

Upland oak-birch woodland (Type W11) with Rowan, Holly, Aspen, Hazel, Juniper and Shrub Willows

Upland broadleaved woodland (Types W7/9) with Birch, Ash, Rowan, Oak, Holly, Wych Elm, Birc Cherry, Alder, Aspen, Hwathorn, Blackthorn, Guelder Rose, Elder, Roses and Willow

Birch woodland (Type W4) with Alder and Willows

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

the carrifran wildwood cont d20
The Carrifran wildwood (cont’d)
  • Problems and challenges:
    • need to treat botanically rich flushes and rare montane plants carefully
    • avoid planting around archaeological features
    • avoid obscuring view near to public highway
    • removal of feral goats
    • accidental loss of 10,000 recently planted trees to muirburn from adjacent farm
    • problems establishing young trees in face of natural processes
      • competition by grass and bracken
      • browsing by deer, voles, hares and stray stock
      • need to fence and maintain enclosures
      • need for initial herbicide treatment and vole guards
      • need for some culling of deer

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wild ennerdale
Wild Ennerdale
  • Vision: “to allow the evolution of Ennerdale as a wild valley for the benefit of people relying more on natural processes to shape its landscape and ecology”
    • not about re-creating a past landscape, but about allowing the character of the valley to develop into the future
    • no fixed ‘end point’

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wild ennerdale cont d
Wild Ennerdale (cont’d)
  • The site:
    • northwest corner of Lake District National Park
    • 4,500 hectares in ranging 770m in altitude
    • Dramatic scenery: Pillar (892m), the River Liza “one of the most wild and geomorphologically natural rivers in England” and Ennerdale Water SSSI
    • Farming, commercial forestry and water supply

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wild ennerdale cont d24
Wild Ennerdale (cont’d)
  • Existing designations:
    • Ennerdale Water SSSI
      • Designated for lakeshore habitats and flora & fauna (inc. Arctic Char)
    • SSSI along southern watershed (Caw Fell, Haycock, Scoat Fell, Pillar, Kirk Fell and Great Gable)
    • candidate SAC
      • designated one of the best examples of altitudinal succession in England

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wild ennerdale cont d25
Wild Ennerdale (cont’d)
  • History:
    • land owned by Forestry Commission, National Trust and United Utilities
      • 1990 FC and NT agreement on need for shared vision for the valley
      • 2002 FC and NT joined by UU to form Wild Ennerdale partnership
      • supported with English Nature funding
    • since 2002
      • period of information gathering
      • developing stewardship plan

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wild ennerdale cont d26
Wild Ennerdale (cont’d)
  • Ethos:
    • two key philosophies:
      • biocentric - encourage natural forces in long-term development of the valley to shape distribution, extent and variety of habitats and ecosystems
      • anthropocentric – recognises that wildness is a human experience and so is need to increase sense of wildness by limiting visual impact of people at same time as encouraging involvement
    • looking forward, not back
    • reduce detracting features associated mainly with commercial forestry

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wild ennerdale cont d27
Wild Ennerdale (cont’d)
  • Scientific basis:
    • set up advisory group
    • information gathering
      • full NVC survey completed 2004
      • Historic Landscape Survey completed 2003
      • GIS extensively used to map valley including spatial distribution of wild and detracting features and its use to help understand the ‘sense of wildness’ throughout the valley
    • involve universities and students
    • information used to draw up extensive stewardship plans for the valley

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wild ennerdale cont d29
Wild Ennerdale (cont’d)
  • Problems and challenges:
    • commercial forestry
      • mixed views – both ‘wild’ and detractor
      • careful management (thinning/planting) vs dense spruce and self-seeded re-generation

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

wild ennerdale cont d30
Wild Ennerdale (cont’d)
  • Problems and challenges:
    • Need for natural grazing patterns and move away from grazing based on ownership, fenced stock and subsidies and towards large dynamic disturbance by cattle
      • break up mats of dead litter and create pathways through tall, dense vegetation and promote varied mosaic
      • small herd of Galloways introduced in 2006
      • monitoring by vegetation and photo surveys

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

reading
Reading

Ashmole, P & Chalmers, H. (2004) The Carrifran Wildlwood Project. ECOS 25(3/4), 11-19.

Taylor, P. (2005) Beyond Conservation: a wildland strategy. Earthscan. Chapters 3 & 5.

Watson Featherstone, A. (2004) Rewilding in the north-central Highlands – an update. ECOS 25(3/4), 4-10.

http://www.carrifran.org.uk/

http://www.wildennerdale.co.uk/

http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

guest lecture
Guest Lecture

Alan Watson Featherstone

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments

next week
Next week...

10. Case studies 3: Re-wilding the lowlands

  • Ostvardersplassen, The Netherlands
  • Wicken Fen
  • Abbots Hall Farm
  • Workshop: Summary, Q&A and exam preparation

GEOG3320 – Management of Wilderness Environments