The Ecology of British Upland Landscapes. Ii. The Influence of Policy on The Current Character of The Uplands and The Potential for Change

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Abstract

The paper demonstrates that the British Uplands have been influenced to a great extent by policy - for example, the planting of almost a million hectares of exotic conifers since the Second World War, and the extent of designated areas. Otherwise, climate change transcends policy and is locally important to coastal and high mountain habitats. The different policies affecting the Uplands, such as the Common Agricultural Policy, are described, as are the wide range of designations such as National Parks, which may have a stabilising effect in times of great change. A new trend has started in Scotland in the last 20 years of local initiatives, such as the community ownership of Eigg, however large landowners still dominate. An impact table is presented of the habitats that make up the Uplands and their links to driving forces, with potential changes described that are likely to take place under future policies such as Brexit. Dwarf shrub heath is the habitat affected by many management drivers, whereas habitats such as Inland Rock, are relatively stable but most likely to be affected by climate change.

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