In the 21st century what is meant by a “natural landscape”? What is it that makes a landscape special? How do the people who live, work and play in a particular area relate to It? What part do these landscapes play in the lives of those who live in more urban environments?

In the event of changes to the landscape brought about by significant climate change, how will people respond to any measures taken to help protect that landscape and its possible uses?

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Beacons of Brecon store large amounts of carbon in the peat, concerns about the health of the uplands have been raised both at a National and International level.

In simple terms when the uplands are not healthy, peat gets eroded by rainfall that washes the soil down into the rivers, often turning the rivers red. This makes the rivers more acidic and not good for fish; it also clogs the water filtration systems, cutting the water supply to its customers. The wrong type of grasses start to grow, and these mat forming grasses increase the risk of fire. Hill fires release a lot of carbon into the atmosphere, this is not helpful at a time when we are all trying to reduce our carbon emissions, it also increases the loss of soil from the hills through wind and rain erosion.

                                  

It is generally agreed that to keep the uplands healthy and to continue to function as carbon stores they need well functioning sustainable communities living within them. This means rich diverse communities of plants, animals and humans. I have talked to people who work with the land, the farmers, commoners and park authorities. The general consensus is that farmers are getting older and not many young people want to stay and work on the land any more. How can young people be encouraged to stay and build their lives in the area without feeling that they are not “missing out”?  Rural life can be hard and isolating, and very different from the world that gets portrayed to them through the films, music, books and magazines they read. If you have experience of, or opinions on any of these issues mentioned above, I would really like to hear from you via the blog or my email address sandra.masterson@btinternet.com

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