Sustaining livelihoods and landscape at Loweswater Authors: Lisa
Sustaining livelihoods and landscape at
Authors: Lisa Norton1, John Rockliffe2, Helen Bennion3, Angus Winchester4 and Nick Haycock5
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Lancaster, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancs, LA1 4AP, UK [email protected]; 2 Mitchells Auction Company Ltd, Cockermouth,
Cumbria 3 Dr Helen Bennion, Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography, University College London, Pearson Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK [email protected]; Department of History, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YG, UK [email protected]; Haycock Associates Limited, Suite 1, Deer Park Business Centre,
Eckington, Pershore, Worcs, WR10 3DN; [email protected]
This work forms part of a Rural Economy and
Land Use (RELU) project on Community
Catchment Management at Loweswater. The
project is focused on 1) understanding the
relationships between the community, land and
water at Loweswater and 2) investigating the
potential for the community to work alongside
other stakeholders in the management of the
catchment. The project arises out of and builds
on previous work in the Loweswater catchment
and the commitment shown by farmers in the
catchment towards improving lake water quality.
Loweswater catchment in brief
Landscape & agricultural
In the Lake District National
Park designated as a quiet
Attractive mixed landscape
Fell 48%, In-bye 37%, Woodland 13%
Small catchment (~8km) and
and Buildings 2%
Small fields with152km of boundary
features , over 450 individual trees
8 sheep and cattle farmers
22 permanent dwellings
(most with land outside of
~ 50 permanent residents +
Church and pub just outside of
catchment but no local school,
of farm income, of the remainder, most is
from the Single Payment Schemes or agri-environment schemes.
Total farming profit in the year of the survey was comparable with
that for NW farms of this type, on average 7k.
Despite similarities between enterprises, (largely beef and sheep),
there is high variability between the 8 farmers in the catchment in
terms of ; farm size, field size, stocking rate, boundary types and
management, income and labour
6 farmers in the catchment are over 50 yrs old, 3 of those have
Linear features on farms in the
Marked land use change 19451965
Lines of trees
70% of walls are in good condition, 30% show signs of
Research in the
catchment reveals that
it has previously been
heavily mined as well as
farmed and retains
historic land use
raised becks and stone
and earth banks.
Human influence on the
catchment is set against
a background of
change influenced by
In the mid nineteenth century
liming and tile draining
What do we want from dramatically
lake climate regulation, air quality,
Ecosystem services may
biodiversity, habitat diversity, cultural identity, recreation, aesthetic
enjoyment, inspirations, heritage etc.
Who is going to provide it?
Currently 8 farmers manage the landscape for very little net income. They
manage in the most cost/resource effective manner, capital works money
from agri-environment schemes has resulted in repaired walls and some
hedge planting/maintenance. For some farmers these activities are too
labour intensive and not worth doing. Future management of the catchment
is potentially in the hands of still fewer farmers who will have more to do in
terms of managing larger numbers of stock.
What role tradition?
Integrated science for our changing world
Back to horses and no fertiliser? Where will the farmers come from and what
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