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Land and Communities

Land and Communities

The relationship between our land and people is crucial, particularly at a time when demographic, social, economic and environmental change is being experienced in rural areas across Scotland; from rural towns and their hinterlands, to coastal areas and islands. SEFARI research focuses on the resilience and wellbeing of Scotland’s rural communities and provides vital support and a wider view for other SEFARI work on environment, land-based industries, food and health. SEFARI research is designed to help people living in and using the rural landscape; it helps identify policies which can enhance community wellbeing and resilience; and it considers the role of empowerment, local participation and democracy.

Case Studies

28 Apr 2022

Assessing the impact of different management interventions on perceived woodland benefits

The importance of ecosystems and biodiversity to human well-being is now well established as they provide benefits such as timber, pollination and coastal protection. 

4 Apr 2022

Comparing Biodiversity Predictions by People and Computer Models for Woodland Management

Combining local, contextualised knowledge with generalised, scientific knowledge is seen as best practice in decision making for biodiversity management. However, there is the potential for conflict if these two knowledges do not concur.

1 Apr 2022

Going underground: testing the potential of citizen science and DNA to explore alpine soil biodiversity

Soil biodiversity is critical to ecosystem functioning, but our understanding of the richness and distribution of soil organisms lags far behind that of biodiversity above ground.

14 Dec 2021

Exploring the potential of spatially referenced data to support the evolution of land-based policy in Scotland

The way we manage land and plan land-use change plays an integral role in the efforts for meeting climatic targets and for mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts.

7 Dec 2021

Nature-based Solutions – how should we plan and evaluate them?

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) have been defined many times, but these definitions can be summarised as “solutions to societal challenges that are inspired and supported by nature”.

10 May 2021

Ecosystem resilience – woodland establishment on heather moorland and carbon budgets

Woodland expansion is a key part of the Scottish and Westminster Governments’ plans to meet net zero carbon emission targets by 2045 and 2050 respectively. Here, we use replicated experiments to study the changes that occurred on heather dominated moorland when birch and Scots pine were