Events News Projects

Creative Conversations Workshop March 2021

Organised by the AALERT 4DM project this workshop will consider arts-based research related to landscapes and the environment, and discuss barriers and opportunities for further integrating these approaches into decision making.

Providing opportunities for discussion and constructive dialogues between diverse disciplinary perspectives and professional practices. It will bring artists (practitioners and researchers) into conversation with other academics and stakeholders (including land managers, policymakers and natural and social scientists) to critically reflect on emerging interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary examples involving arts research from the UK and abroad.

The workshop will also be used to help set the agenda for AALERT 4DM regional case studies planned for later in the year.

News Projects

Tipping Points Project Love & Soil ‘slow’ conversation

During March LDP project Tipping Points and their partners Northern Heartlands have been holding a virtual conversation between farmers, conservationists, researchers and artists. Prompted by the idea of meeting in the messy middle, and a desire to promote discussion that was the opposite of the arguments and pile-ons that so often fill social media, Love and Soil has been a space to be thoughtful, connect and find shared meanings.

Open by registration on a password protected website the Love and Soil conversation has provided a troll free space where participants are actively sharing opinions in a positive way, engaging in discussion and developing understanding about, and respect for each other.

Love and Soil began with writer Amy-Jane Beer’s plea for farmers and environmentalists to ‘hold hands’ a bit more and bring together people who recognise that we are all on the same side.

The conversation will come to a close on 28th March, but that won’t be the end of Love and Soil – after the conversation closes the Tipping Points team will work with a film producer to curate a thirty-minute film of the ‘slow conversation’, giving a flavour of the discussion that will be available to view online so that a wider audience can get involved, opening up further opportunities for discussion.

In this era of polarisation when it feels even more important to find more positive ways to connect with each other digitally, the Tipping Points team and Northern Heartlands hope that the ‘Slow Conversation’ has provided that opportunity.


The Landscape Decisions Programme welcomes seven new Fellows

The Landscape Decisions Programme Coordination Team (PCT), and UK Research & Innovation (Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)) are pleased to welcome seven new Fellows from across England, Wales and Scotland to the programme.

The programme is developing a community of researchers and stakeholders with interests in improving the processes of landscape decision making in order to deliver environmental, economic and societal benefits across the UK. The Fellows will work with the PCT in collaboration with other projects funded within and beyond the programme.  The Fellows will be conducting projects on multidisciplinary landscape research synthesis, translation of research outcomes into policy-relevant applications and on community engagement with landscape decision-making

Professor Heiko Balzter, who is leading the Programme Coordination Team, said: 

The Landscape Decisions Fellows have a critically important role in the programme. They provide connections between funded projects, contribute to synthesising the research outcomes and undertake their own individual research. There was high competition for the fellowships and I am pleased to say that we appointed excellent candidates at all levels of their professional careers.” 

The seven Fellows and their projects are: 

Dr Janet Fisher, University of Edinburgh: Developing a Toolkit for Mapping and Deliberating Values for Uplands Management (MADEVU). 

Dr Fisher said: 

“I’m delighted to have been awarded this landscape decisions fellowship as it will enable me to pioneer new understanding and ways of working with stakeholders towards the potential amelioration of upland conflicts’.‘I’m really excited about the interdisciplinary basis of the landscape decisions programme. With multiple new and escalating physical, social and policy drivers of change in the UK landscape, it is an important chance to improve the governance of land.’  

Dr Adam Calo, The James Hutton Institute: The role of property, ownership and land tenure on landscape decision making: The case of Scotland’s ‘low carbon farming’ policies. 

Dr Calo said: 

“I’m delighted to join Landscape Decisions Programme as a Fellow. The concerted effort to join up the social and biophysical sciences along with the arts and humanities demonstrates the type of consortium required to meet grand environmental challenges at a systems level. I look forward to stimulating thinking on how norms of property, land tenure and land access restrain or enable the ability for land managers to take on climate positive decisions in the agricultural sector, and I hope to make a timely contribution though the Landscape Decisions Programme.”  

Dr Christopher Lee, University of Exeter: Co-desIgning Robust natural Capital LandscapEs (CIRCLE). 

Dr Lee said: 

“I’m delighted to have been awarded a Landscape Decisions Fellowship, and I’m excited to begin translating the expertise of the Landscape Decisions Programme into the policy design process, and ultimately environmental benefits to society.Working at the heart of government policy development will give me, and colleagues in the Landscape Decisions Programme, the opportunity to better support decision makers, and to improve the use of our work in the policy design process in future.  

Dr Jonathan Walker, Swansea University: Supporting the development of peatland policy, strategy and practice, and its delivery, in Wales (Welsh Peatlands Evidence). 

Dr Walker said: 

I’m thrilled about my Landscape Decisions Fellowship! The Landscape Decisions programme is so relevant and timely given these times of significant change our landscapes are in – changes in priority outcomes, management methods and financing. It’s so important that at this juncture, the decisions we take for our landscapes and us are informed by up to date, robust evidence.   

Dr Leo Peskett, University of Edinburgh: Bridging the national and local in landscape decision making: building effective regional partnerships that deliver on climate policy objectives. 

Dr Peskett said: 

“The Fellowship is a really exciting opportunity for me to work directly with the end users of landscapes decisions research, finding ways to creatively and effectively incorporate research into the establishment of pioneering new landscape decisions institutions. Landscape planning and management is crying out for frameworks that can help make sense of the hugely complex area of landscape decision making. The Landscape Decisions Programme, with its breadth, depth and cross-disciplinary approach, can make a hugely valuable contribution in this area and help to deliver more sustainable landscapes”  

Dr David Baker, University of Exeter: Co-production of a software tool for field-scale species distribution modelling (fs-SDM) and mapping using local biodiversity records. 

Dr Baker said: 

“The Landscape Decisions Programme has the potential to transform the way in which multifunctional landscapes are managed for both people and nature. Support for this type of applied research is not widely available and consequently the award of this fellowship within the Landscape Decisions Programme is exciting for all involved. The complex problems of designing and managing multi-functional landscape necessitates working within multi-disciplinary teams and I am looking forward to working within the Landscape Decisions community to develop novel insights into my own work and to foster future cross-disciplinary collaborations“.

Dr Emma Gardner, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology: How many trees should we plant and where? Modelling the landscape-level benefits and biodiversity consequences of woodland creation. 

Dr Gardner said: 

“The Landscape Decisions Programme has created such a fantastic multidisciplinary community, where everyone’s knowledge and experience is welcomed and valued. As an Early Career Researcher, being part of this culture of state-of-the-art knowledge exchange is both invaluable and inspiring. This Fellowship has given me a unique opportunity: it allows me to work alongside stakeholders and use my multidisciplinary background to really understand the complexities of a topic that is not only highly policy relevant, but can also have big potential consequences for us all.” 


For further information contact the PCT at   

Events Projects

Creative approaches for understanding and influencing landscape decision making

Webinar Style Event

Friday 18th September 2020

Two Sessions: 10.00 – 11.30 am & 2.00 – 3.30 pm

Coordinated by The Landscape Decisions project AALERT 4 DM and hosted by the Programme Coordination Team

A number of projects funded under the Landscape Decisions Programme explore how creative approaches can influence landscape decision making.

The event is organised by AALERT 4DM with the Landscape Decisions Coordination Team and it will be delivered in two sessions.

  • The morning session will explore and debate perspectives of different projects about engaging with creative practices and understanding landscape decision making in the context of specific projects.
  • The afternoon session in an open conversation will debate how creative approaches can influence landscape decision making.

The event is open to wider audiences and all speakers and hosts will be participating in both sessions.

Sign up for the workshop on Eventbrite here:

MORNING SESSION 10.00 – 11.30 am


General overview to event scope and structure by AALERT


Short talks by a number of participating projects

To outline their practices and explain how they understand decision making in the context of their project. Open discussion – speakers to respond to each other and take questions posted in the chat

AFTERNOON SESSION 2.00 – 3.30 pm


Stimuli presentation on barriers and opportunities in influencing Decision Making – by member of the LDCT – TBC


General discussion to reflect on issues raised in the morning session and explore:

How do we believe creative approaches can influence decision making?

We hope that the discussions will lead to a written output that will complement the writing themes that emerged from the Landscape Decisions discussion events in July on the general theme of “Principles for participatory landscape decision making, the role of creativity, and best practice for interacting with landscape stakeholders”

List of Participating Projects

  • AALERT 4DM – Arts and Artists fro Decision Making
  • Changing landscapes, changing lives: how can narrative and biographical perspectives improve landscape decision making?
  • Connecting disadvantaged young people with landscape through arts
  • Creative landscape futures: making decisions with the arts and humanities
  • Decommissioning the Twentieth Century:
  • Design Innovation and Land-Assets: Towards New Thinking & Communities
  • Energy Landscapes, Heritage and Community
  • Field\work
  • HydroSpheres: co-design for landscape decision-making
  • Imagining the measure of change: art, science and the estuary community
  • Landscape Futures and the Challenge of Change: Towards Integrated Cultural/Natural Heritage Decision Making
  • Landscapes of the Mind
  • Multisensory multispecies storytelling to engage disadvantaged groups in changing landscape
  • TREESCAPES – Making visible the cultural values at risk from tree pests and diseases through arts approaches.
  • Unlocking Landscapes: History, Culture and Sensory Diversity in Landscape Use and Decision Making
  • Tipping Points: Cultural Responses to Wilding and Land Sharing in the North of England

Virtual workshop

Integrating quantitative social, ecological and mathematical sciences into landscape decision making. 

7th to 11th September 2020

Organised by the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences

A follow-up to the highly successful Isaac Newton Institute (INI) Programme Mathematical and statistical challenges in landscape decision-making held in July 2019. The aim of this workshop is to build on this success by exploring how to integrate state-of-the-art social modelling approaches with environmental and mathematical approaches in landscape decision-making. The workshop will also, provide an opportunity to feedback on methodological advances made since the INI programme and match these to the changing needs of stakeholders. 

The primary goal of this follow-on workshop is to further extend these interdisciplinary links to the social sciences community. This is crucial in order to advance a holistic understanding of landscape decision-making. 

All talks and discussion sessions will be available virtually  


If wish to participate virtually, please contact

This workshop will include: 

  • Talks on the state-of-the-art in quantitative social and environmental and mathematical approaches to modelling landscape systems. 
  • Discussions on how to integrate quantitative social modelling approaches into existing quantitative approaches in landscape decision-making 
  • Summary of key outcomes and research roadmaps that emerged from the INI programme “Mathematical and statistical challenges in landscape decision-making”. 
  • Stakeholder perspective on current challenges in landscape decision-making. 
  • Feedback from projects funded under the UKRI Strategic Priority Fund (SPF) “Landscape Decisions: Toward a new framework for using land assets” mathematical and statistical challenges call. 

Participants in the workshop will include a highly interdisciplinary mix of both academic and non-academic researchers as well as stakeholders working on land-related research and policy questions. These will include (but not be limited to) participants interested in ecological modelling, social modelling, as well as mathematicians, statisticians and computer and data scientists with expertise in system modelling, uncertainty quantification and decision-making who are also interested in these wide ranging applied questions. 


Special Issue of CoDesign


The Design Innovation and Land-Assets Landscape Heritage Research Network and associated sister project Design Innovation and Land-Assets: Towards New Thinking & Communities are leading a call for abstracts for a Special Issue of CoDesign – International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts. 


Imagining the Measure of Change Launch Event

Follow the links above to find out more about this exciting new event from the IMOT project!



Call for Papers: Multispecies Heritage

Event date – 26th and 27th November 2020

Please submit abstracts of 250 words, a brief biographical note, institutional affiliation, and time zone by 23rd September 2020 to: and

Multispecies approaches have recently developed as important interdisciplinary connections between the arts and humanities and the natural sciences. The term ‘multispecies’ is used to characterise a varied set of critical perspectives that are connected in their commitment to non-anthropocentric ways of thinking. Multispecies studies consider communities of living beings, their shared histories and interrelationships in ways that bring ‘diverse bodies of knowledge into conversation … pushing them in new directions’ (Van Dooren et al, 2016: 2).

One of the imperatives of multispecies approaches is to interrogate and challenge anthropocentric approaches and emphasise interrelationships with other forms of life. In multispecies research, participants extend the understanding of value to include the perspectives of the more-than-human world. As an important shift away from the traditions that normalise human-centred thinking about ‘nature’ and ‘the natural world’, multispecies approaches can help to identify alternative ways of responding to questions about place, interspecies ethics, and land use.

This conference, organised by the Multispecies Storytelling network, asks how multispecies approaches can be used to understand more-than-human heritage and explore the epistemological, methodological and policy implications of such thinking.

We invite proposals from various disciplines including media studies, communication studies, cultural studies, geography, history, philosophy, literature, sociology, art, and anthropology. As well as ‘traditional’ papers, we welcome creative works that engage with the conference themes.

15-minute papers are invited on topics including but not limited to:

  • Imagining multispecies heritage
  • Multispecies heritage and landscape
  • Multispecies heritage and place
  • Ethics and multispecies heritage
  • More-than-human landscapes
  • Land use and more-than-human perspectives
  • Multispecies methodologies and epistemologies

This event will take place online and will be free to attend. To be as inclusive as possible, the conference will take place across two days and the organisers intend to arrange presentations that take into account participants’ time zones.



Short presentations will be added to our YouTube page in a series of bite-sized themes: 
(contact the team for access to the videos) 
You’ll be able to see general overviews of projects including non-specialist introductions and how projects will enhance the landscape decision-making process in the UK 
Theme 1: Comparing, combining and improving models, and creating tools and frameworks – Upload date 21 May  

Theme 2: Modelling specific factors – Upload date 26 May  

Theme 3: Understanding shared social values (making invisible values visible) – Upload date 28 May  

Theme 4: Assessing how the social sciences/hums/arts can contribute to landscape decision making and inform landscape decision making models and tools – Upload date 2 June  

Theme 5: Multidisciplinary understanding – understanding how decisions are made and integration between disciplines – Upload date 4 June 
Work Package leaders from the Programme Coordination Team (PCT) will deliver short presentations focusing on how projects fit into the overall Landscape Decisions objectives and highlighting commonalities and links between projects.    

Presentations will be about 15 minutes long and will be added to our YouTube page on 18 June for viewing   
An opportunity for Project Teams to get together for group discussions – via Zoom  
Dates of sessions: 25th & 30th June, 9th & 16th July 2-4 pm. 

For technical reasons numbers will be limited to a maximum of 150 per session.
Entry to the discussions will be via a pass code sent to project teams ahead of the day 

Each session will focus on a specific topic and last for a maximum of 2 hours.  Sessions will be held on 4 separate days to minimise video-conference fatigue.  

Sessions will be recorded to inform the subsequent writing retreats.  
The Topics 
Topic 1: Understanding people’s interaction with landscapes and landscape decision making 
Topic 2: Multi-functional landscapes and ES  

Topic 3: What pressures on Landscapes are currently not being considered – i.e. where are the gaps in our understanding of the pressures  

Topic 4: Can we understand different levels/scales of landscape decision making and the interactions between them?   


Wednesday 15th July 2-4 p.m.

This is an addition to our Virtual Event series and is a workshop style event for those interested in:

Fitting Models and Quantifying the Uncertainty of Predictions.

Aim and Scope: The Landscape Decisions Programme contains a number of projects that involve the use of computer models designed to aid the decision-making process. This workshop will bring together researchers working with models, and in particular, will discuss the issues of calibrating models (also known as “parameter estimation/tuning/fitting/optimisation”, or as the “inverse problem”) and comparing or combining models. For this workshop we intend to focus specifically on stochastic models that cannot be fit using standard likelihood-based inference techniques.

This 2-hour zoom event run by Richard Everitt and Richard Sibly will have the following structure: 

  1. Organisers’ welcome and introduction (5 min).
  • Individual case studies. Each will consist of a brief description by a participant of their model, and the challenges associated with estimating its parameters and quantifying the uncertainty attached to its predictions (max 5 min). This will be followed by a discussion of how new inference techniques might help.
  • Conclusion and proposals for future collaborations.

Call for Participation: If you are interested in speaking at this workshop, please by Friday 3rd July fill in the form at If you are interested in parameter estimation, assessing model fit, or uncertainty quantification, but are not sure if your work fits into the scope of this workshop, please get in touch via the form above, and let us know what you are working on. We would like to get an idea of the different types of models being investigated in the Programme and where applicable of the progress being made on parameter estimation and uncertainty quantification. We hope from this to see where future collaborations might be helpful.

Any questions, please email or