Perception and partnership: Developing forest resilience on private estates

Euan Bowditch, R McMorran, Rosalind Bryce, Melanie Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Scotland has the highest concentration of private land ownership in Europe and private estates in the Highland region cover the vast majority of the land. On many private estates forests share the land with a strong tradition of sporting use that has inhibited the development of forest management culture. Land managers are seeking ways to diversify that are relevant to both local practice and wider environmental issues to align with Scottish woodland expansion policy, increasing emphasis on resilience strategies and adoption of ecosystem approaches. This research focusses on four regionally diverse case study areas, each containing three neighbouring private estates in the Scottish Highlands. Using mixed-methods that includes an adapted walking interview technique, collaborative action discussions and a novel approach to mapping spatial resilience this study explores resilience and forest culture through individual perceptions of the participating land managers. This work expands understanding of spatial resilience that is relevant and meaningful to land manager decision-making and local practice, which could offer policy makers with an effective avenue to realise and implement resilience aims through local action. Key synergies between renewable energy, carbon marketing and forest development are identified alongside perceptions of resilient forest types. Support mechanisms such as regionally trusted capacity building and facilitation are recognised as crucial to mobilising six landscape partnerships (land manager identified) that could both strengthen estate and forest resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-122
Number of pages13
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Early online date14 Dec 2017
Publication statusPrint publication - Feb 2019


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