2005: Planning, People and Practice The Landscape Ecology of Sustainable Landscapes

Proceedings of the 13th Annual IALE(UK) Conference, held at the University of Northampton, 2005

Edited by: Duncan McCollin and Janet I. Jackson

Landscape & Biodiversity Research Group, School of Applied Sciences, University of Northampton



We are not often landscape-makers or owners, and it is rarely in our power to take part in the reconciliation between human control and natural spontaneity that is what we seem to want in our rural surroundings. The question of how the vast bulk of us who feel deeply and organically involved with landscapes and natural life, yet who are estranged from them geographically and socially, can work out a relationship , has only just begun and to be explored.” Mabey, R. (1983) In a Green Shade. Unwin, London. p.14


Landscape ecology is concerned with connections: physical connections that help reconnect fragmented habitats and populations; or functional connections to facilitate the spread of organisms. Accordingly, the focus of much research in landscape ecology has concerned animals or plants. Often, the focus has been on maintaining the ecological integrity (or the ‘ecological infrastructure’) of the landscape in the face of increasing habitat loss and fragmentation. But landscape ecology is also about connecting people with the landscape. The role of humans is often implicit: we are subsumed into the role of some dark force that has shaped landscapes over many millennia; or we may be simply onlookers – appreciating its aesthetic beauty (or not, as the case might be). Landscapes thus accommodate a myriad of complex functions and, like any finite resource, they must be managed sustainably.

In the past, landscape change was often slow: piecemeal and imperceptible -and humans may have adjusted to such change without really knowing it. Whilst subtle progressive change still occurs today we are now in a much better position to detect such change by means of aerial imagery and GIS. We are also much better placed to plan for even greater changes. Policies for spatial planning, the environmental, social and economic impacts of development, and more recently the introduction of Green Infrastructure planning are being taken seriously by the UK Government and local authorities. However, a consensus needs to be reached in planning future landscapes, which not only balances the needs of society and commerce but are based on sound ecological principles for habitats and wildlife at local and landscape scales. Planning therefore should ideally be based on a consensus built on informed choice, as well as scientific understanding and appreciation of people’s values. These issues are particularly relevant in Northamptonshire since last year it was announced that 370,000 new homes are to be built in the corridor from Northampton to Milton Keynes.

This conference brought together those with an interest in reconnecting people with landscapes. It also served to increase awareness of landscape ecology for those decision makers who will help form the places where we and where wildlife will live. We would like to thank the IALE(UK) Committee for allowing us to organise the conference, for which these proceedings are part, and we are grateful to everyone, too numerous to mention, who have helped in its organisation.


PART 1: Planning, people, and perception – a landscape perspective


Placing people in the planning and practice of landscapes


J. Boothby .. 3

The meaning of ‘countryside’: what are we trying to sustain?

G. Fairclough and I. Sarlöv Herlin .. 11

Should farmers be landscape planners too?

A. Lane and S. Oreszczyn .. 21

Planning landscapes for sustainability -the role of stakeholder participation

D. Pound .. 29

Space for people: targeting action for woodland access

N. Collinson .. 39

Using biogeographic units in landscape-scale policy and planning

K. Hamilton and P. Selman .. 45

Re-interpretation of the traditional Chinese view of nature into modern day ecological concepts

L. Tai and N. Dunnett .. 53


PART 2: Ecological infrastructure and fragmentation



A landscape approach to conserving farm ponds for wintering bird refuges in Taoyuan, Taiwan


W. Fang .. 63

Loss of semi-natural grasslands in the Hungarian forest-steppe zone in the last fifteen years: causes and fragmentation patterns

B. Czúcz, A. Révész and F. Horváth and M. Biró .. 73

The structure of calcareous grassland plant communities at different scales: a study from the South Downs, Sussex, UK

R.A. Holm, N.G. Burnside, C.B. Joyce and S. Waite .. 81

Collecting evidence on the effects of landscape change on biodiversity.

M. D. Velarde, G. Fry and E. Framstad .. 89


PART 3: Linkages in the landscape



The role of hedgerows in linking woodland birds populations.


P. Bellamy and S. Hinsley .. 99

Perceptual range and connectivity: exploring the effects of habitat changes on inter-patch dispersal paths

J. Alderman, D. McCollin, S. Hinsley, P. Bellamy, P. Picton and R. Crockett .. 107

Garden structure, butterflies and urban landscape corridors

C. Young .. 115

The agro-environmental structures and their multiple roles at local scale. A case study in the River Sile Natural Park (Italy).

D. Tocchetto and M. Borin .. 123


PART 4: Regional and strategic planning for ecological infrastructure



Ecological networks and ecoregions: new landscape linkages at regional level


G. Pungetti .. 133

How to improve integrative planning and landuse instruments in cultural landscapes

R. Muessner .. 141

Using spatial frameworks to target agri-environment schemes

B.R. Allen and C.M. Reid .. 151

Cultural landscape conservation: diffuse corridors in Lombardy Region (Italy)

E. Padoa-Schioppa, M. Baietto, R. Massa and L. Bottoni .. 157

Planning for biodiversity restoration at large scales using GIS-based data.

J. A. Wilson, F. Ferwerder, K. Stothers, T. Barlow and D. Robinson .. 167

Ecology and the UK planner: providing tools for sustainable landscapes.

R.D. Swetnam, D. Hill, S.C. Alker and T.R. Duffy .. 177

The Kent Lifescapes Information System: aiming to aid better decision

making in Kent.

H.A. Lyons, L. Tricker, O.J. Looker and A. Comber .. 187

Planning for ecology: a Greater Manchester case study

A. Kazmierczak and P. James .. 195

The Cheshire ECOnet web-based toolkit -a tool for planning strategically for nature conservation and delivering locally

A. Evans, I.C. Marshall and M. Wellman .. 203

Delivering an ecological network in Cheshire

A. Evans, I.C. Marshall and M. Wellman .. 209

Spatial identification of European habitats to support the design and implementation of a Pan-European Ecological Network

C.A. Mücher, S.M. Hennekens, R.G.H. Bunce and J.H.J. Schaminée .. 217

A future for nature in NW-Europe

R. Jongman .. 227


Poster Papers



Assessment of forest landscape changes in Rhodope Mountain using CORINE land cover data base


N. Borisova .. 237

Complex (functional and structural) landscape ecology research in the border area of the Dél-Alföld Region, Hungary

B. Duray .. 241

Area action planning in the countryside in and around towns: a multi-functional approach to the urban fringe of St Helens, Merseyside

N. Hope and P. Nolan .. 245

Hedgerows conservation in the current central Spanish landscape: population perception and protection policy

I.A. Sánchez, A.R. Birkeland and J.I. Jackson .. 249

Location and quantification of the elements in order to make an ecological network between two SIC in the Venetian plain (N-E Italy).

D. Zupperdoni, D. Brentan, E. Avanzi., F. Susan, P. Bortolami and U. Ziliotto .. 253


Poster Abstracts



Ensuring sustainable biodiversity gain at the landscape level


B.R. Allen and C.M. Reid .. 259

LIFE-project: Habitat restoration in Landschap De Liereman

S. Van der Veken .. 261