The Physical Landscape of Britain and Northern Ireland

Lead Research Organisation: Kingston University
Department Name: Fac of Science Engineering and Computing

Abstract

Availability of knowledge of the processes, dynamics, landforms and materials of the physical landscape is vital for sustainable environmental management and for development projects, risk reduction, resource use, and future planning under scenarios of climate change. It is essential for ecological conservation and biodiversity strategies and for conservation of our landscape heritage in Britain and Northern Ireland (NI). This proposal is for the foundation stage of an ambitious project to establish an interactive website which will make existing research knowledge of the physical landscape of Britain readily accessible to end-users. It will see the development of the "Physical Landscape of Britain" website (landscapebritain.org.uk), targeted at professional end-users, which include engineering consulting companies, government agencies concerned with environmental management and conservation, and major landowners and landscape managers. The major end-user partners involved in this proposal, representative of these spheres, are: Mouchel and Halcrow companies; Natural England, The Environment Agency; and The National Trust.
Geomorphology is the science that analyses how physical processes, act on the Earth's surface to create landforms and landscapes. This project is promoted by the British Society for Geomorphology (BSG) on behalf of the geomorphological research community in Britain.
Much research output is not readily available to potential end-users and there is a lack of awareness of potential benefits of this knowledge. This project is designed to overcome those deficiencies. The foundation phase will build on a pilot study to develop a spatial database of information, create a digital bibliography and produce an interactive website that provides lists and a digest of existing relevant published data. This database will be searchable both textually and spatially through a web map interface.
This application is for funding to enable the crucial stage of design of the website interface and database to be completed, for a usable website to be populated with information for selected major parts of Britain, and for the facility to be made available to all potential end-users. End-user partners will provide guidance on what kind of information they require, how they use the information and what are the existing gaps in knowledge and thus help to design a valuable resource, and also eventually to set the future research agenda relevant to society's needs. The project will have feedback to the academic community in increasing their awareness of the key issues and challenges being faced by end-users in environmental management and thus for academics to see how their research could help.
This project will provide essential evidence for evidence-based Government policy-making and will increase effectiveness of public services and design of appropriate policy and practices by enhancing availability of knowledge of landscape processes and materials, of past changes and environmental change impacts, and occurrence of hazards as inputs to sustainable environmental management and conservation. Economic benefits will arise from reducing desk study costs and increasing awareness of geomorphological and ground conditions affecting development, as well as more effective planning of infrastructure in relation to natural hazards and likely future environmental changes. Ecological conservation requires geodiversity and the maintenance of the physical habits so geomorphology is an essential component of ecological management. The landscape heritage and enjoyment of landscape are important for a high quality of life and health so knowledge of process and evolution of landscape are fundamental to aiding interpretation and fulfilling those needs.
This project aims to provide access to information, data and knowledge on the geomorphology of the British landscape to professional end-users to enable them to deliver these benefits.

Planned Impact

See Liverpool proposal

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The knowledge exchange project provides a single point of access to information and research results on the physical landscape of Britain, that is its geomorphology. It has produced a spatially interactive website linked to a bibliographic database. The website is searchable by location and/or topic. Summaries of landscape characteristics and research in landscape areas of Britain are provided.
Exploitation Route Much research output is not readily available to potential end-users such as engineering and environmental consulting companies and government agencies and there is a lack of awareness of potential benefits of this knowledge. Lack of prior knowledge of aspects such as physical processes, materials, dynamics of change, or incidence of natural hazards, can be costly to development projects and may mean inappropriate design and environmental management with insufficient concern for sustainability. The information on published research is not readily available to those outside the academic community and they do not have time to investigate whether publications are relevant. Thus this website will save time and money, will avoid some detrimental consequences and will improve environmental quality and well-being. This project has produced an interactive website to enable knowledge exchange between academic researchers and end-users covering all aspects of the physical landscape (geomorphology) of Britain and Northern Ireland. A vast amount of research has been undertaken in Britain and NI which can provide place-specific information which would be of value to those concerned with environmental management and understanding of that locality including topics of wide concern, eg flood hazards, slope instability. Availability of knowledge of the processes, dynamics, landforms and materials of the physical landscape is vital for sustainable environmental management and for development projects, risk reduction, resource use and future planning under scenarios of climate change. It is essential for ecological conservation and biodiversity strategies and for conservation of our landscape heritage in Britain. The website enables searches by location and key terms and provides guidance on the research information available. The website has been designed and constructed and is populated with research publications details for selected areas, indexed by area and key word.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://landscapebritain.org.uk/
 
Description Knowledge exchange Production of spatially interactive website giving information on research publications about the physical landscape at searchable locations in Britain.
First Year Of Impact 2012
 
Description Research grant
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Society for Geomorphology 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Title Physical Landscape of Britain 
Description Bibliographic database allowing spatial and topic searches of relevant publications 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Use by organisations to find relevant published research 
URL http://www.landscapebritain.org.uk/
 
Description The physical landscape of Britain and Northern Ireland 
Organisation Government of the UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Database design and development, website implementation and data entry
Collaborator Contribution End-user input for website functions and facilities, website testing and feedback
Impact See main grant outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description The physical landscape of Britain and Northern Ireland 
Organisation Halcrow Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Database design and development, website implementation and data entry
Collaborator Contribution End-user input for website functions and facilities, website testing and feedback
Impact See main grant outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description The physical landscape of Britain and Northern Ireland 
Organisation Mouchel Group PLC
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Database design and development, website implementation and data entry
Collaborator Contribution End-user input for website functions and facilities, website testing and feedback
Impact See main grant outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description The physical landscape of Britain and Northern Ireland 
Organisation National Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Database design and development, website implementation and data entry
Collaborator Contribution End-user input for website functions and facilities, website testing and feedback
Impact See main grant outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description The physical landscape of Britain and Northern Ireland 
Organisation Natural England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Database design and development, website implementation and data entry
Collaborator Contribution End-user input for website functions and facilities, website testing and feedback
Impact See main grant outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description The Physical Landscape of Britain and Northern Ireland website 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Launch publicising the website at RGS. Production of leaflets . Dissemination through partner organisations.

Some of partners asked for more information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.landscapebritain.org.uk/