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Changing Countryside: Land Use Policies and the Environment

Alan Mowle
Geography
Vol. 73, No. 4 (October 1988), pp. 318-326
Published by: Geographical Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40571464
Page Count: 9
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Changing Countryside: Land Use Policies and the Environment
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Abstract

Although Britain's countryside is fashioned by human intervention, there is a rich heritage of wildlife. The loss of wildlife habitats has been particularly rapid since 1945, with the mechanisation and intensification of farming. Nevertheless policies on farming support continue to be geared to increased production, even in Less Favoured Areas, most of which are in Scotland. Countryside change in these upland areas is a process of degeneration: declining moors and artificial forest. A proper rural sector policy does not exist, with Common Agricultural Policy support on the one hand and nature conservation policies on the other. Some observers suggest that one-fifth of agricultural land should be withdrawn from farming by the end of the century, but policy measures for rational re-use of 'setaside' land are poorly developed. Amongst positive developments, the designation of Environmentally Sensitive Areas may be mentioned. But the real problem is the over-narrowness of individual sectoral policies and their lack of integration.

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