Natural England begins second phase of uplands review

The independent review of upland evidence is being carried out in two parts and was launched last month with a request for contributions around three initial topic areas. The first phase will draw to a close on 20 July and the independent experts will begin to carefully consider the evidence in relation to each of the questions set out in the scoping document: (341kb).

Natural England is now inviting submissions of evidence for the second phase of the study which will cover:

– Determining environmentally sustainable stocking regimes on moorland
– Assessing the feasibility of restoring degraded blanket bog

The deadline for submissions is 14 September 2012.

Professor Colin Galbraith is chairing the review and is supported by a group of independent experts from a range of backgrounds who have a wealth of knowledge and experience of the uplands. Professor Galbraith said: “We’re very grateful to all the organisations and individuals who have provided information so far and I hope that everyone with an interest in the issues being covered will contribute to this second phase. This is an excellent way of ensuring that Natural England can make use of the best available evidence.”

The outcomes of the evidence review will be invaluable in developing Natural England’s advice to upland land owners and managers. Once the evidence review has reported, practitioners with knowledge and experience in this area will be invited to work with Natural England to develop the organisation’s delivery of uplands advice, which will take into account social and economic factors as well as practical aspects of management on the ground.

Dr Tim Hill, Natural England’s Director for Evidence & Analysis and Chief Scientist added: “Everyone involved in the management of England’s uplands needs to be confident that decisions are based on objective and consistent evidence. This review is the first one of its type that Natural England has carried out and we want to ensure that we do not miss any evidence from current research or key references. We intend to undertake further reviews in the future around other topics to ensure that we are using the best available evidence when developing our advice”.

Natural England is keen to ensure that the full range of evidence around these topics is identified. In addition to carrying out extensive literature searches and reviews of journals and scientific papers, we are inviting external submissions of evidence. Many upland stakeholders have already been invited to submit evidence and full details on how to contribute can be found on the Natural England website or email neuplandsevidencereview@naturalengland.org.uk for more information

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