POSTPONED - Our ‘green and pleasant’ land: can we afford to take it for granted?

photo of Corfe Castle on a misty morning

In light of the ongoing public health situation, we have taken the decision to postpone this event. As soon as a new date has been arranged it will accessible on our events page.

Inaugural lecture by Professor Denise Hewlett

Our greenspaces are celebrated in art and literary works and by the public, are classed amongst some of our most valued, national treasures. They matter to people, especially when they are local or in the form of a protected area such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or National Park. These environments and their special qualities such as tranquillity and ‘natural beauty’ help shape the way we live our lives, how we feel about ourselves and others and our experiences in these areas affect our mental, social wellbeing and ultimately, our health. It is these settings that societies worldwide depend upon to address a multiplicity of social, political, economic and ultimately environmental objectives including their ability to support rural economies and their communities, in providing a Natural Health Service and in ameliorating the effects of our current state of environmental crisis.

Despite their importance, these areas are increasingly being challenged. Many of these threats derive from, for examples, the sheer multiplicity of their uses, inappropriate and/or unplanned development, effects of climatic changes on these areas, political diversions and their effects on public funding: all of which have called into question the purposes of protected areas and more generally, of greenspaces, in meeting public needs in the 21st Century.

The significance of these areas is such that they can no longer be taken for granted. Research is essential to inform decisions taken on their management. These challenges have been the subject of research led by Professor Denise Hewlett and her team, in collaboration with government bodies and institutions in the UK and overseas. We invite you to engage in the research journey undertaken and the practical solutions found to some of the most challenging factors facing greenspaces to-date.

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