Our research focuses on the interaction of people and wildlife in forests. This includes understanding the people’s attitudes towards wildlife and its management, along with the impacts that recreation has on wildlife.
- To identify stakeholder attitudes towards and perceptions of wildlife and its management, and the links between these and their behaviours.
- To understand the relationships between governance (e.g. legislation and policy) and future management options and needs, and stakeholder behaviour.
- To ‘map’ the development of human-wildlife conflicts.
- To promote best collaborative working practices for wildlife management and conservation (balancing government and others’ roles and responsibilities).
- To identify, locate and understand human-wildlife interactions in urban and peri-urban settings.
Results so far
Ecological research into recreational disturbance of wildlife focuses primarily on a limited number of areas such as walking as an activity and impacts upon birds and soils. Long-term ecological studies of wildlife or habitat disturbance are scarce and considerably less work has been carried out on the social dimensions of recreational disturbance.
The majority of evidence on the relationship between recreation and conservation is focused at the site level, however assessment of these interactions should also take place at landscape scales to facilitate the wider provision of public benefits.
Collaborative wildlife management agendas across scales and social contexts are primarily set by contextual factors, particularly stakeholders drawing on specific cultures and policies, and predefining issues. The capacity of collaborative processes themselves to share power amongst stakeholders may therefore be limited.
This research programme started in 2009 and is ongoing.
Reports and presentations
- Assessing the Effectiveness of Deer Management Grants in the East of England(PDF-100KB)
Summary of research assessing the effectiveness of deer management grants in the East of England.
- Recreational Use of Forests and Wildlife Interactions (PDF-224KB)
- Is it natural? Clonal forestry in public/private spaces (PDF-942K)
Presentation of the social dimensions of clonal forestry, April 2009.
- Human dimensions of wildlife research (PDF-1501K)
Presentation given to delegation visiting Forest Research from Wildlife Management Office Inc. Tokyo, Japan, 17th September 2010.
- Disturbance of wildlife and the recreational use of forests (PDF-148K)
Research summary, November 2011.
- Recreational use of forests and disturbance of wildlife (PDF-2280K)
Literature review report providing an assessment of the relationship between wildlife disturbance and the pursuit of recreational activities in UK forests. 2012.
- Recreationist behaviour in forests and the disturbance of wildlife
Journal article reviewing the international evidence on forest recreation and wildlife disturbance, and investigating the potential for applied behavioural theory to address these problems. October 2012.
- Agenda-setting and power in collaborative natural resource management. Environmental Conservation, November 2013
- Forests for All? Considering the Conservation Implications of Human-Species Interactions in the Context of Multifunctional Forestry, in Challenges and Opportunities for the World’s Forests in the 21st Century, Springer Publications, 2014.
Funders and partners
This project is funded by the Forestry Commission.