Comparative Monitoring and Evaluation of Dry-Stone Walls

Funded by Natural England, this project will evaluate the effectiveness of previous agri-environment schemes (AES), specifically Environmental Stewardship (ES) and Countryside Stewardship (CS), by examining the condition of stone walls (SW) and stone-faced banks (SB) in selected case study locations (Yorkshire Dales, South Pennines, Peak District, Dartmoor). This will provide an evidence base for strategic assessment of grant funding for the maintenance and restoration of SWs and SBs. It will examine the extent to which AES influence and curate the flows of wider ecosystem services that derive from SWs and SBs.

The evidence will support decisions regarding the extent to which grant funding interventions for SWs and SBs are needed under the Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes, either through CS, the Sustainable Farming Incentive and other AES, for the renewal, maintenance and protection of SWs and SBs and associated ecosystem services. It will identify the extent AES contribute to the flow of ecosystem services deriving from SWs and SBs, improving our understanding of how public goods can be delivered through their maintenance.

Taking place over a period of 12 months, Dr Pete Gaskell will lead a team of experts including Jeremy Lake, Ken Smith, and colleagues from Land Use Consultants and Environment Systems Ltd.  The CCRI team working alongside Pete includes Dr. John Powell, Prof. Paul Courtney, and Dr Fahimeh Malekinezhad.

CCRI Ref: 2023-004