Integrating different understandings of landscape stewardship into the design of agri-environmental schemes

Christopher M. RAYMOND, MARK Reed, Claudia BIELING, GUY M. ROBINSON, Tobias PLIENINGER, J. C. Bidogeza, P. B. M. Berentsen, J. De Graaff, A. G. J. M. Oude Lansink, Mark Morrison, Jeanette Durante, Jenni Greig, John Ward, Eddie Oczkowski, Katrin Prager, Alister Scott, Nora Fagerholm, Berta Martin-Lopez, Lance W. Robinson, Fikret BerkesAlexa Spence, Nick Pidgeon, Juliette C. Young, Kate Searle, Adam Butler, Peter Simmons, Allan D. Watt, Andrew Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


While multiple studies have identified land managers’ preferences for agri-environmental schemes (AES), few approaches exist for integrating different understandings of landscape stewardship into the design of these measures. We compared and contrasted rural land managers’ attitudes toward AES and their preferences for AES design beyond 2020 across different understandings of landscape stewardship. Forty semi-structured interviews were conducted with similar proportions of small holders, medium holders and large holders in southwest Devon, UK. Overall, respondents most frequently cited concerns related to the reduced amount of funding available for entry-level and higher-level stewardship schemes in the UK since 2008, changing funding priorities, perceived overstrict compliance and lack of support for farm succession and new entrants into farming. However, there were differences in concerns across understandings of landscape stewardship, with production respondents citing that AES do not encourage food production, whereas environmental and holistic farmers citing that AES do not support the development of a local green food culture and associated social infrastructure. These differences also emerged in preferences for AES design beyond 2020. We adapted a collaborative and coordinated approach for designing AES to account for the differing interests of land managers based on their understanding of landscape stewardship. We discuss the implications of this approach for environmental policy design in the European Union and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Conservation
Issue number04
Pages (from-to)350-358
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • agri-environmental measures
  • collaborative management
  • common agricultural policy
  • community-based natural resource management
  • landscape stewardship
  • payments for ecosystem services

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