Formally launched in January 2006, 45 metres above the Thames on one of Tower Bridge's glass walkways, the AHRC Landscape and Environment Programme set out to advance knowledge, critically and creatively, of the cultural forms and processes shaping, and shaped by, landscape and environment. In a six year span, the Programme has broken new ground in bringing together researchers from a wide range of disciplines and approaches (including those for whom practice is integral to the research) to address the changing ways landscapes and environments have been imagined, experienced, designed, made and managed, and in communicating research findings to a wide audience.
While compiling the final reports for the Programme we made a count of its various achievements. This includes not only outputs, most of which were produced towards the end of projects, but also activities and events occurring over the longer term, which demonstrate the process of work, its development and value. In all, 50 projects have been funded, based in 40 institutions, with Principal Investigators drawn from 13 different disciplines. The projects have involved a far greater number and range of people than those who were directly funded, including 90 non-academic organisations, within and beyond the UK, and a large population (approaching 7000) actively involved in project and programme activities through 164 events, including conferences, workshops and seminars.
Places as well as people count in a programme of this theme, and the map of research includes over 150 specific landscape case studies in the UK alone, and a good number internationally, with some at a large scale, for example the Indian Ocean and the rainforest of Borneo, including many research sites. The programme so far has generated over a thousand outputs of various kinds, largely scholarly publications, but also including 40 websites, 22 exhibitions and 5 films which have generated sizeable audiences.
Although the Programme formally closed at the end of 2012, we are confident that the research community it has created will continue to push forward research on the theme in exciting and inspiring new ways. Evidence of this was already clear as the Programme drew to a close. Initiated in 2011, the AHRC grant scheme 'Care for the Future: Enhancing Arts and Humanities Perspectives on Environmental Values and Change' enabled those involved in the Researching Environmental Change networks to develop new research collaborations. Six new projects were funded through the call, including Stephen Daniels' 'Bringing Landscape to Life' project (2011-13). Each project involved collaboration between multiple award holders but were led by Stephen Bottoms, Peter Coates, Stephen Daniels, Georgina Endfield, Lorna Hughes and Hayden Lorimer.
The AHRC funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects.
Over the course of the 2013-14 financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please go to: www.ahrc.ac.uk
Director's Impact Fellowship
Funded by the AHRC in 2011, the Fellowship aims to draw together the impact of the research amassed by the Landscape and Environment Programme.
Published in March 2012, the final newsletter offers an overview of the final months of the Fellowship and plans for the future.
If you have any queries relating to the now closed Landscape and Environment Programme, please contact its former Director:
Professor Stephen Daniels
School of Geography
University of Nottingham NG7 2RD
0115 95 15434