Davy McCracken


  • Auchincruvie Estate, SAC Consulting, JF Niven Building

    KA6 5HW Ayr

    United Kingdom

1992 …2022
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Personal profile

Personal profile

After completing my PhD on the feeding ecology of the red-billed chough in 1990, I first worked on an investigation into the relationships between moorland vegetation and upland invertebrates at the University of Newcastle. 

I then moved to the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) where I helped highlight the nature conservation importance of High Nature Value (HNV) farming systems throughout Europe.

I joined SRUC in 1995 and input to a wide variety of national and international projects which aim not only to assess the relationships between farming systems and farmland biodiversity but to also highlight the likely implications of agri-environment and wider Common Agricultural Policy reform.

I took on the role of Head of SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre in 2013. Much of the Centre’s research is focused around SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre Research farms, near Crianlarich, which we are developing to be a platform for agricultural, environmental and agro-forestry research and demonstration.

I took on the role of Head of the Department of Integrated Land Management in SRUC’s South & West Faculty in 2019. This Department brings together research, education and consultancy expertise with an aspiration of ensuring that land-based sector students – irrespective of the primary focus of their qualification – will obtain a much better understanding of the constraints and opportunities facing other land use sectors.

At a wider European level, I am involved in a range of research and demonstration projects investigating the economic, social and environmental resilience of upland livestock systems and seeking to understand the trade-offs associated with changes to those systems.


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  • 3 Similar Profiles
agricultural land Earth & Environmental Sciences
biodiversity Earth & Environmental Sciences
grasslands Agriculture & Biology
pollinating insects Agriculture & Biology
ecosystem service Earth & Environmental Sciences
riparian buffers Agriculture & Biology
ewes Agriculture & Biology
invertebrates Agriculture & Biology

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2016 2022

Research Output 1992 2019

8 Downloads (Pure)

Evaluating the efficacy of independent versus simultaneous management strategies to address ecological and genetic threats to population viability

Trask, A., Fenn, S., Bignal, E., McCracken, DI., Monaghan, P. & Reid, J., Oct 2019, In : Journal of Applied Ecology. 56, 10, p. 2264-2273

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
inbreeding depression
conservation management

Understanding farmer uptake of measures that support biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Brown, C., Kovacs, E., Zinngrebe, Y., Albizua, A., Galanaki, A., Grammatikopoulou, I., Herzon, I., Marquardt, D., McCracken, DI., Olsson, J. & Villamayor-Tomas, S., 3 Jul 2019, Wallingford, UK: EKLIPSE Expert Working Group. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. 60 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Common Agricultural Policy
ecosystem service
European Union

Back to the future: rethinking the socioecological systems underlying high nature value farmlands

Lomba, Â., Moreira, F., Klimek, S., Jongman, R., Sullivan, C., Moran, J., Poux, X., Honrado, JP., Pinto-Correia, T., Plieninger, T. & McCracken, DI., 15 Apr 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

farmland values
agricultural land
farming systems
farming system
low input agriculture

Performance, longevity and financial impacts of removing productive ewes early from mountain flocks

Wishart, HM., Morgan-Davies, C., Waterhouse, A. & McCracken, DI., 2019, Book of Abstracts of the 70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science. S. C. (ed.). Wageningen Academic Publishers, Vol. 25. p. 428 1 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

economic impact
culling (animals)

After Brexit: 10 key questions for rural policy in Scotland

Atterton, J., Copus, A., Glass, J., Liddon, A., De Lima, P., McCracken, D., Moxey, A., Philip, L., Shortall, S. & Shucksmith, M., Jan 2018, Newcastle.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearch

Open Access
rural community