25 Years of Landscape Ecology

2017 ialeUK Annual Conference

27 to 29 June 2017, Manchester Metropolitan University

2017 marks the 25th year since the first meeting of ialeUK at the University of Nottingham. This milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on the increasing importance of landscape ecology and how it will guide future landscape change over the next 25 years. As part of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, ialeUK has provided an important link between research, policy and practice in the UK and around the world.

Landscape is widely recognised as a meeting-point that supports collaboration between different disciplines and sectors. Practical landscape projects have strengthened local communities by bringing people together, building sense of place and enhancing the natural environment. A balanced consideration of nature and culture is increasingly being recognised in both international and UK research programmes to support landscape planning for environmental, social and economic sustainability.

The concept of landscape is now widely understood to encompass urban, rural and marine areas with characterisation techniques responsive to these different contexts. Landscape surveillance and monitoring is increasingly able to understand heterogeneity and inform the development of spatial models and decision support tools. Landscape-scale conservation is the new mainstream – there is a widespread realisation that patterns and processes in the wider landscape require attention alongside the condition, extent and spatial configuration of protected areas and priority habitats. Landscape history has shaped current patterns of natural assets, and their structure and function provide the ecosystem services that we depend upon. Together with nature-based solutions, the link between the urban landscape and the surrounding rural landscape and seascape is recognised as a key factor for enhanced resilience and human wellbeing.

We welcomed participants working with landscape and seascape, including natural and social scientists, landscape architects, planners, policy-makers, geographers and archaeologists. 

The ialeUK 2017 Conference was organised by the ialeUK Committee and Countryscape.