Learning from doing participatory rural research: Lessons from the Peak District National Park

Andy J. Dougill*, E. D.G. Fraser, J. Holden, K. Hubacek, C. Prell, M. S. Reed, S. Stagl, L. C. Stringer

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Understanding the socio-economic and environmental implications of rural change requires the active participation of many research disciplines and stakeholders. However, it remains unclear how to best integrate participatory and biophysical research to provide information useful to land managers and policy makers. This paper presents findings of a RELU scoping study that has formulated and applied a research framework based on stakeholder participation and adaptive learning to model rural change in the Peak District National Park in the north of England. The paper describes a learning process that integrates different types of knowledge to produce future scenarios that describe possible economic and environmental changes due to a national review of burning practices on heather moorland and blanket bogs. We stress the need for using social network analysis to structure stakeholder engagement and outline how a range of participatory approaches can facilitate more inclusive environmental planning and policy development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-275
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive learning
  • Moorland burning
  • Peak District National Park
  • Rural land use
  • Social network analysis

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