New data available on land use and natural resource management

Article dated: 25 February 2011

Rural areas face increasing challenges due to environmental changes, the pressure of human activities and debates over priorities.

Should the land and its resources be used for food production, recreation, biodiversity, flood prevention or as an environmental buffer? Balancing needs and reconciling conflicts requires an understanding of how people and natural systems interact and depend on each other.

The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (Relu) funds interdisciplinary research to inform policy and practice in these areas. Researchers study rural issues from a societal and environmental point of view, involving communities, land managers and stakeholders to make sure the expertise and practices of people living on the land are heard. Solutions require an understanding of the effects now and in the future of different use and management approaches.

The UK Data Archive has recently added several data collections of Relu projects that study land, water and resource management in rural areas.


Data collections on the management of upland areas:

  • Sustainable Uplands: Management for Multiple Benefits, 2004-2005
  • Sustainability of Hill Farming, 2007-2008
  • Sustainable Uplands: Learning to Manage Future Change, 2006-2009

Data collections on flooding and flood risk management:

  • Integrated Floodplain Management, 2006-2008
  • Understanding Environmental Knowledge Controversies: The Case for Flood Risk Management, 2007-2010

Data collections on social and environmental services and resources:

  • Social and Environmental Inequalities in Rural England, 2004-2009
  • Collaborative Frameworks in Land Management: a Case Study on Integrated Deer Management, 2006-2009
  • Angling in the Rural Environment, 2007-2009

Researchers can find cross-disciplinary data collections and corresponding publications through the Relu knowledge portal.

Complementary environmental and ecological data for each project are archived at the Environmental Information Data Centre of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH). Data are available from the CEH Information Gateway.