Share your thoughts about the UK uplands

People who live and work in the UK’s uplands – and those who visit them – have been given a new voice to share what these unique environments mean to them, thanks to the Sustainable Uplands project.

The project website will tell the story of the UK uplands and give people who live and work there a unique platform to express their views.  The site will house video-clips, written accounts, photographs, audio material and artwork from anyone with an interest in Britain's hills to raise awareness of the region and its inhabitants. The site is part of the Sustainable Uplands project - a collaboration between a number of organisations, including the Universities of Leeds, Aberdeen and Durham.  

The UK uplands include wild places such as the Scottish Highlands, the West Country moorland, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District. Around 70% of the country's drinking water comes from the uplands and the peat soils found in these areas store a huge amount of carbon, helping to mitigate the threat of climate change.  

Professor Joseph Holden, co-leader of the project, from the University of Leeds, said: "Upland communities need to be empowered and resourced to look after these environments which bring benefits to our wider society."  

The University's Sarah Buckmaster, a Sustainable Uplands project member, said: "The UK uplands provide many products and services that are essential to our daily lives. As well as food and water, these areas supply us with a variety of goods and services that we often take for granted.  This aim of this website is to give UK uplands a much-needed voice and to provide a platform to communicate the value of these beautiful and unique environments."  

Project co-lead Dr Mark Reed, from the University of Aberdeen, said: "This is an idea that was inspired by people living in upland environments. Farmers, land owners, tourists, walkers, cyclists, researchers and anyone else with an interest in the uplands will be given the chance to share what these environments mean to them - it's a fantastic tool to exchange knowledge and get people thinking and talking about the UK uplands".  

Funded by the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Follow-on Funding Scheme, Sustainable Uplands is a five-year collaborative, interdisciplinary research project looking at the future of upland areas and the threats posed by factors such as climate change, social change in rural environments and changes in management practice.  

Involving the universities of Leeds, Aberdeen, Durham, Sheffield and Sussex, together with Moors for the Future partnership and the Heather Trust, the project has considered how our uplands might change under future social, economic and environmental conditions. It has identified a range of innovative and practical solutions to help people cope with and harness these changes and ways in which policy-makers can support adaptation in Britain's hills.  

Visit the site for more details.

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