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A new vision for upland Wales

14 January 2013

What does the future hold for land use and climate in upland Wales? This is the question being addressed at a workshop led by researchers from the Sustainable Places Research Institute involved in the DURESS project, a £3 million project led by Cardiff University to assess the role of river diversity on delivering key ecosystem services under changing land uses and climate.

To develop these scenarios, experts from across Wales are gathering to provide a wide-ranging and informed view of all the services that uplands provide.  These services range from food and wood production to regulating services like flood control and carbon sequestration.  Cultural services provided by landscape and heritage of the uplands are also economically important for tourism and recreation.

The workshop will explore questions around the future for the uplands to 2050. In particular it will explore the main drivers of change in land use and management over the next 40 years in the context of a changing climate.

Key questions include:

  • What components of uplands are most susceptible to change – looking at political, economic, social, technological, environmental and health aspects?
  • How do interactions between global and local factors cause changes in the uplands?
  • What are the critical issues which will determine the future of the uplands?Examples may include: ageing populations; changes in land ownership and succession; increasing competition for resources (including energy); changes in markets and economic support; changes in recreational/tourism demands; climate change impacts (including both mitigation and adaptation opportunities).
  • Given these factors, are there areas of the uplands that are more susceptible to change – possibly based on what we have seen from land use changes in the past?

The outputs from the day will help inform the development of a series of robust scenarios for Welsh uplands and their rivers for the next forty years. They will be used by the DURESS research team to establish how services currently delivered by river biodiversity, such as clean water and fish might vary in the future. 

Information from the day will be made available on the DURESS project website.

Further information about the scenarios development is available from Havard Prosser ( or Tim Pagella (

Related links

DURESS project website