Eye Brook Community Project

Much of our research is carried out within the farm boundary, but many issues can only be addressed at the wider landscape scale, often involving the local community.

Upper Eye Brook catchment

For example, our game management influences, and is influenced by, what others do in the area around us and the issue of damage to rare woodland plants by introduced muntjac deer can only be addressed at the landscape scale. Wood fuel for our heating system is best sourced with the collaboration of other local land managers. Almost by definition, stream water quality and aquatic ecology must be considered at the level of the catchment. The management of a wild trout population is an example. The catchment in which Loddington is located is the Eye Brook, an area that is greatly valued by local people as an attractive landscape in which to live and work.

Cultural factors such as values attached to landscape can often be significant motivators for environmental management. Such values are embedded in historical processes and local knowledge of those processes. An increased awareness of landscape history can therefore enhance our interest in, and ownership of, environmental issues and landscape management. 

The Eye Brook Community Project was a collaboration with village history societies, naturalists, farmers and other rural workers with wide-ranging knowledge and expertise. The Heritage Lottery funded project (2006-2010) documented the evolution of land use within the catchment, the management and use of natural resources associated with it, and the underlying ecology. In this way, the project combined the hard science carried out by the Allerton Project and its research partners with the local knowledge of the catchment community. The project explored the implications of our understanding of past and present land use for how we develop plans for the sustainable management and use of our local natural resources in future.

This project formed the basis for some of our more recent activities around Loddington. A book, Exploring a Productive Landscape was also published as a result of this work. This is available from the GWCT Shop or the Allerton Project at a cost of £10 plus postage. You can also download a copy in PDF format (6.77MB).

The Eye, a publication on the outcomes and developments stemming from the Eye Brook project, can be downloaded here.

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