Rolling English countryside

Rural and Visitor Economy

Rural & Visitor Economy (Theme Lead: Angie Anthonisz)

The rural and visitor economy theme adopts a transformational business philosophy that encourages the development of innovative thinking and contemporary approaches to planning and management that are linked to supporting a broad range of resources across the sector. The debates need to focus on an appraisal of the mixed economy and the contributions each sector makes to sustainable rural environments. This will entail showcasing business, supporting small business growth, encouraging knowledge exchange and identifying best practice in sustainable management that is based on an economic model/strategy that is research-informed...

Eucalyptus glaucescens trees

Incorporating eucalypts into the Ecological Site Classification

Dr Andrew Leslie. Senior Lecturer at University of Cumbria, was engaged in consultancy for this project.

The project is aimed at extending the scope of the ForestFounder system, a geospatial analysis system that identifies optimal sites for various forestry activities including growing woody biomass.

The University of Cumbria’s input was to assist in defining site suitability for Eucalyptus glaucescens within the Ecological Site Classification decision support system, a tool for matching trees to forestry sites.  

Eucalyptus glaucescensis grown as short rotation forestry has potential as a source of fast-growing woody biomass.  

Funder:  BEIS -  Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme

Partners: Forest Research, Forest Creation Partners   

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Photo credit:  Chris Bennett, Lancashire County Council 

Valuing the Cultural Farmed Landscape

The project is designed to demonstrate the diverse cultural heritage of Lake District farms in terms of tangible structures and intangible processes. It provides ideas for farmers and communities to consider in terms of diversification in line with the new Government agenda of public goods.  

This booklet specifically explains the value of farmed cultural landscapes for nature recovery and climate action and ideas for farmers to adopt.  

See also, this short film 'What did farming ever do for us?' by Rob Granger Photography. 

Other outputs will include a community project and a voiced-over powerpoint presentation. 


Funder: Lake District Farming in Protected Landscape Programme 

Value:     £28K 

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Shepherds' meet, tent, herdwick sheep.
Sheep in a field in Cumbria

Gap Analysis for Hill Farm Support Post Brexit

A critical evaluation of areas needing further support for hill farming in Cumbria. Key findings focused on the need for better relationship management between organisations and farmers, and second, a more holistic integrated advisory service.


Funder: Royal Society of Arts Food, Farming & Countryside Commission

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Norway and Hybrid spruce trials

These two projects are focused on diversifying the range of trees used in production forestry.

The Norway spruce (Picea abies) trials involve testing improved material from seed orchards in France, Sweden and Denmark against the German material commonly planted in the UK across two sites in Scotland, one in south west England and one in Wales.

The hybrid spruce trials are focused on testing a spruce hybrid (Picea X lutzii) on four sites in south east Scotland and north east England considered to have insufficient rainfall for Sitka spruce, the main production species in commercial forestry in the UK.

Funder: See Partners

Partners: Maelor Forest Nurseries Ltd, Tillhill Forestry, Scottish Woodland, Forestry England 

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Nordic spruce tree
Lake district conservation area

Pine weevil control trials

These are a series of trials, established across several years testing are focused on testing physical, chemical and other measures to reduce the damage of pine weevil (Hylobius abietis) on Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), the main production species in commercial forestry in the UK.

Pine weevil is the only forest insect pest in the UK where control measures are routinely taken and damage estimated at Euro 100 million is caused by the insect across Europe.

Funder: See Partners

Partners: Maelor Forest Nurseries Ltd, Tillhill Forestry, Scottish Woodland, Forestry England

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