Skip to main content Accessibility help

Integrating different understandings of landscape stewardship into the design of agri-environmental schemes



While multiple studies have identified land managers’ preferences for agri-environmental schemes (AES), few approaches exist for integrating different understandings of landscape stewardship into the design of these measures. We compared and contrasted rural land managers’ attitudes toward AES and their preferences for AES design beyond 2020 across different understandings of landscape stewardship. Forty semi-structured interviews were conducted with similar proportions of small holders, medium holders and large holders in southwest Devon, UK. Overall, respondents most frequently cited concerns related to the reduced amount of funding available for entry-level and higher-level stewardship schemes in the UK since 2008, changing funding priorities, perceived overstrict compliance and lack of support for farm succession and new entrants into farming. However, there were differences in concerns across understandings of landscape stewardship, with production respondents citing that AES do not encourage food production, whereas environmental and holistic farmers citing that AES do not support the development of a local green food culture and associated social infrastructure. These differences also emerged in preferences for AES design beyond 2020. We adapted a collaborative and coordinated approach for designing AES to account for the differing interests of land managers based on their understanding of landscape stewardship. We discuss the implications of this approach for environmental policy design in the European Union and elsewhere.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence: Christopher M. Raymond e-mail


Hide All
Andrews, A.C., Clawson, R.A., Gramig, B.M. & Raymond, L. (2013) Why do farmers adopt conservation tillage? An experimental investigation of framing effects. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 68: 501511.
Bidogeza, J.C., Berentsen, P.B.M., De Graaff, J. & Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M. (2009) A typology of farm households for the Umutara Province in Rwanda. Food Security 1: 321335.
Bieling, C. & Bürgi, M. (2014) List and documentation of case study landscapes selected for HERCULES. EU-Project Deliverable GA no. 603447 [www document]. URL
Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2013) Successful Qualitative Research: a Practical Guide for Beginners. 1st Edition, ed. Carmichael, M.. London, UK: Sage Publications.
Futures, Dartmoor Farming (2013) Dartmoor Farming Futures – Developing a New Approach to Agri-Environmental Delivery [www document]. URL
De Lijster, E. & Prager, K. (2012) The use of indicators in agri-environmental management in the Netherlands. Commissioned Report, James Hutton Institute, UK [www document) URL
Druckman, J.N. (2001) The implications of framing effects for citizen competence. Political Behavior 23: 225256.
Emtage, N.F., Harrison, S.R. & Herbohn, J.L. (2001) Landholder attitudes to and participation in farm forestry activities in sub-tropical and tropical eastern Australia. In: Sustainable Farm Forestry in the Tropics, eds. Harrison, S.R. & Herbohn, J.L.. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Erjavec, K. & Erjavec, E. (2015) ‘Greening the CAP’ – just a fashionable justification? A discourse analysis of the 2014–2020 CAP reform documents. Food Policy 51: 5362.
European Commission (2015) EU Agriculture Spending: Focused on Results. European Commission Fact Sheet [www document].
Gifford, R. & Comeau, L.A. (2011) Message framing influences perceived climate change competence, engagement, and behavioral intentions. Global Environmental Change – Human and Policy Dimensions 21: 13011307.
Jones, M.D. & Song, G. (2014) Making sense of climate change: how story frames shape cognition. Political Psychology 35: 447476.
Köbrich, C., Rehman, T. & Khan, M. (2003) Typification of farming systems for constructing representative farm models: two illustrations of the application of multi-variate analyses in Chile and Pakistan. Agricultural Systems 76: 141157.
Linnell, J.D.C., Kaczensky, P., Wotschikowsky, U., Lescureux, N. & Boitani, L. (2015) Framing the relationship between people and nature in the context of European conservation. Conservation Biology 29: 978–85.
Lowe, P., Feindt, P.H. & Vihinen, H. (2010) Introduction: greening the countryside? Changing frameworks of EU agricultural policy. Public Administration 88: 287295.
Maybery, D., Crase, L. & Gullifer, C. (2005) Categorising farming values as economic, conservation and lifestyle. Journal of Economic Psychology 26: 5972.
Meyer, W.S., Bryan, B.A., Summers, D.M., Lyle, G., Wells, S., McLean, J. & Siebentritt, M. (2015) Regional engagement and spatial modelling for natural resource management planning. Sustainability Science. DOI: 10.1007/s11625-015-0341-5.
Morrison, M., Durante, J., Greig, J., Ward, J. & Oczkowski, E. (2011) Segmenting landholders for improving the targeting of natural resource management expenditures. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 55: 1737.
Newig, J. & Fritsch, O. (2009) Environmental governance: participatory, multi-level – and effective? Environmental Policy and Governance 19: 197214.
Newig, J. & Koontz, T.M. (2013) Multi-level governance, policy implementation and participation: the EU's mandated participatory planning approach to implementing environmental policy. Journal of European Public Policy 21: 248267.
Pe'er, G., Dicks, L.V., Visconti, P., Arlettaz, R., Báldi, A., Benton, T.G., Collins, S., Dieterich, M., Gregory, R.D., Hartig, F., Henle, K., Hobson, P.R., Kleijn, D., Neumann, R.K., Robijns, T., Schmidt, J., Shwartz, A., Sutherland, W.J., Turbé, A., Wulf, F. & Scott, A.V. (2014) Agriculture policy. EU agricultural reform fails on biodiversity. Science 344: 10901092.
Prager, K. (2015) Agri-environmental collaboratives for landscape management in Europe. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 12: 5966.
Prager, K., Nienaber, B., Neumann, B. & Phillips, A. (2015) How should rural policy be evaluated if it aims to foster community involvement in environmental management? Journal of Rural Studies 37: 120131.
Prager, K., Reed, M. & Scott, A. (2012) Encouraging collaboration for the provision of ecosystem services at a landscape scale – rethinking agri-environmental payments. Land Use Policy 29: 244249.
Raymond, C.M., Bieling, C., Fagerholm, N., Martin-Lopez, B. & Plieninger, T. (2016) The farmer as a landscape steward: comparing local understandings of landscape stewardship, landscape values, and land management actions. Ambio 45: 173184.
Raymond, C.M., Bryan, B.A., MacDonald, D.H., Cast, A., Strathearn, S., Grandgirard, A. & Kalivas, T. (2009) Mapping community values for natural capital and ecosystem services. Ecological Economics 68: 13011315.
Reed, M.S., Moxey, A., Prager, K., Hanley, N., Skates, J., Bonn, A., Evans, C.D., Glenk, K. & Thomson, K. (2014) Improving the link between payments and the provision of ecosystem services in agri-environment schemes. Ecosystem Services 9: 4453.
Robinson, G.M. (2008) Sustainable rural systems: an introduction. In: Sustainable Rural Systems: Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Communities, ed. Robinson, G.M., pp. 340. Basingstoke, UK and Burlington, VT, USA: Ashgate.
Robinson, L.W. & Berkes, F. (2011) Multi-level participation for building adaptive capacity: formal agency-community interactions in northern Kenya. Global Environmental Change 21: 11851194.
Silcock, P., Brunyee, J. & Pring, J. (2013) Dartmoor Farming Futures Project: An Independent Evaluation. Commissioned Report. Worcestershire, UK: Cumulus Consultants Ltd.
Spence, A. & Pidgeon, N. (2010) Framing and communicating climate change: the effects of distance and outcome frame manipulations. Global Environmental Change – Human and Policy Dimensions 20: 656667.
Strauss, A.L. & Corbin, J. (1990) Basics of Qualitative Research Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Thousand Oaks, USA: Sage.
Whitehead, A.L., Kujala, H., Ives, C.D., Gordon, A., Lentini, P.E., Wintle, B.A., Nicholson, E. & Raymond, C.M. (2014) Integrating biological and social values when prioritizing places for biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology 28: 9921003.
Young, J.C., Searle, K., Butler, A., Simmons, P., Watt, A.D. & Jordan, A. (2016) The role of trust in the resolution of conservation conflicts. Biological Conservation 195: 196202.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Integrating different understandings of landscape stewardship into the design of agri-environmental schemes



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.