CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT IN THE UPLANDS: PRINCIPLES INTO PRACTICE
22-26 September 2014, Gairloch, Wester Ross
AIM OF THE COURSE:
To ensure that upland conservation management is rooted in sound ecological principles
* Invasive plants
* Grazing impact
* Native woodlands old & new
* Peatlands & carbon storage
* Setting objectives
– Nature conservation practitioners: staff of NGOs and agencies involved in practical conservation work and/or policy advice
– Postgraduate students involved in ecological research
– Those involved in governance of NGOs & agencies (trustees, council & committee members)
– Those seeking to advance their Corporate Professional Development
The course provides an opportunity for practitioners to stand-back from their daily work, to look afresh at the ecology of upland ecosystems, and to discuss topical issues with their peers – both informally on-site and in more structured indoor sessions in the evenings.
‘Learning by doing’: participants will undertake fieldwork on key topics and thereafter draw their own conclusions on the dynamics of the ecosystems they are studying.
The course is not designed to teach standard protocols such as NVC and Site Condition Monitoring and neither will it focus on designated sites, although these topics will be discussed. Instead it will focus on basic ecology with the aim of honing observation skills.
Fieldwork sites will be chosen to best illustrate the underlying ecological principles and discussion will be based on fieldwork results obtained. Informal discussion following Chatham House rules will be a key aspect of the course
The course will take place in an area where natural/semi-natural habitats dominate the landscape, with improved agricultural land or urban development rare. Hence the course is targeted at those professionally working in such areas; it will be less suited to those involved in lowland areas where the reverse is true.
Participants will be expected to have had some experience of nature conservation theory and practice.
Run in association with the Field Studies Council
£240 per participant, which includes daily travel to/from fieldwork sites, fieldwork material, cost of room hire for evening sessions, and tutor costs.
* Course numbers will be restricted to eight.
The facilitator for this course is Dr James Fenton. The course is run in conjunction with the Field Studies Council.
James has a degree in botany and PhD in peat growth. He previously designed and tutored ecology field course for five years in the Lake District while working for the Brathay Hall Trust.
In 1991 he was employed by the National Trust for Scotland as their first Ecologist and remained with them for 14 years. Subsequently he worked on landscape policy for Scottish Natural Heritage for five years, coordinating the work to identify the special qualities of all of Scotland’s National Scenic Areas and both National Parks. Most recently he worked for two years in the Falkland Islands as CEO of the NGO Falklands Conservation.
In recent years he has also led fieldwork days in Wester Ross for postgraduate students from ETH Zurich university and been a STEM ambassador.
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