Type of resources
Contact for the resource
This dataset consists of computer code transcripts for two proprietary flood risk models from a study as part of the NERC Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme. This project was conceived in order to address the public controversies generated by the risk management strategies and forecasting technologies associated with diffuse environmental problems such as flooding and pollution. Environmental issues play an ever-increasing role in all of our daily lives. However, controversies surrounding many of these issues, and confusion surrounding the way in which they are reported, mean that sectors of the public risk becoming increasingly disengaged. To try to reverse this trend and regain public trust and engagement, this project aimed to develop a new approach to interdisciplinary environmental science, involving non-scientists throughout the process. Examining the relationship between science and policy, and in particular how to engage the public with scientific research findings, a major diffuse environmental management issue was chosen as a focus - flooding. As part of this approach, non-scientists were recruited alongside the investigators in forming Competency Groups - an experiment in democratising science. The Competency Groups were composed of researchers and laypeople for whom flooding is a matter of particular concern. The groups worked together to share different perspectives - on why flooding is a problem, on the role of science in addressing the problem, and on new ways of doing science together. We aimed to achieve four substantive contributions to knowledge: 1. To analyse how the knowledge claims and modelling technologies of hydrological science are developed and put into practice by policy makers and commercial organisations (such as insurance companies) in flood risk management. 2. To develop an integrated model for forecasting the in-river and floodplain effects of rural land management practices. 3. To experiment with a new approach to public engagement in the production of interdisciplinary environmental science, involving the use of Competency Groups. 4. To evaluate this new approach to doing public science differently and to identify lessons learnt that can be exported beyond this particular project to other fields of knowledge controversy. This dataset consists of computer code transcripts for two proprietary flood risk models. Flood risk and modelling interview transcripts from this study are available at the UK Data Archive under study number 6620 (see online resources). Further documentation for this study may be found through the RELU Knowledge Portal and the project's ESRC funding award web page (see online resources).
This dataset consists of a survey of the vegetational impacts of deer in 20 forests as part of the NERC Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme. It is widely accepted, at least in principle, that most kinds of natural resources are best handled collaboratively. Collaborative management avoids conflict and enhances the efficiency with which the resource is managed. However, simply knowing that collaboration is a good idea does not guarantee that collaboration can be achieved. In this project, the researchers have addressed issues of conflict and collaboration in ecological resource management using the example of wild deer in Britain. Deer are an excellent example since they highlight problems around ownership and because they offer both societal benefits and drawbacks. Wild deer are not owned, though the land they occupy is. As deer move around, they usually cross ownership boundaries and thus provoke potential conflicts between neighbouring owners who have differing management goals. Deer themselves are valued and a key component of the natural environment, but their feeding commonly limits or prevents woodland regeneration and can thus be harmful to ecological quality. Deer provide jobs but they also provoke traffic accidents. This study used a variety of methods from across the natural and social sciences, including choice experiments, semi-structured interviews with individuals and focus groups. It also incorporated the use of participatory GIS to map deer distributions and habitat preferences in conjunction with stakeholders. The study confirmed conventional wisdom about the importance of collaboration. However, it also showed that there were many barriers to achieving effective collaboration in practice, such as contrasting objectives, complex governance arrangements, power imbalances and personal relationships. Mechanisms for enhancing collaboration, such as incentives and incorporating deer within broader landscape management objectives, were examined. Though these proposals were worked out for the case of deer, they are likely to be applicable much more widely and should be considered in other cases of disputed or rapidly changing ecological resource management. This dataset consists of a survey of the vegetational impacts of deer in 20 forests. The interview and focus group transcripts, and the choice experiment datasets from this study are available at the UK Data Archive under study number 6545 (see online resources). Further documentation for this study may be found through the RELU Knowledge Portal and the project's ESRC funding award web page (see online resources).