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 Alison Caffyn

Alison Caffyn

Research student, School of Geography and Planning

Overview

I have been researching contestations around intensive livestock farming developments for an ESRC funded PhD. I have submitted my thesis and am currently writing several articles about my research. I live in Shropshire and my research has focused on the planning regimes in Herefordshire and Shropshire.


I have many years’ experience of research and consultancy in public, private and academic contexts, largely specialising in rural regeneration and tourism development.


Prior to researching at Cardiff University, I was a freelance consultant for ten years. Previously I have held posts at ECOTEC Research and Consulting, University of Birmingham, South Shropshire District Council, Loch Lomond Stirling and Trossachs Tourist Board and Cumbria Tourist Board. I have held advisory roles at the National Trust (Midlands) and am a member of the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership.


Qualifications:


MSocSc Leisure and Tourism, University of Birmingham


BA Geography, Durham University

Research

Research interests

The ESRC funded research has explored the contestations around the impacts of intensive poultry units in Herefordshire and Shropshire. These two counties have the highest numbers of broiler poultry units in the UK – there has been a four fold increase over the last 20-30 years. There are approaching 38 million birds across Herefordshire and Shropshire at any one time, with multiple crops of birds a year. Local communities have been increasingly objecting to many of the planning applications and there has been rising concern about cumulative impacts of ammonia emissions and nutrient pollution in watercourses.


My research questions were::



  1. How have controversies about intensive poultry unit (IPU) developments in Herefordshire and Shropshire emerged?

  2. How have values, knowledge and experience been contested during the planning process?

  3. How is power enacted and performed by the actors involved in IPU contestations?


The research involved identifying and mapping all poultry units in the two counties using planning permission and environmental permit data. A range of over 50 stakeholders were interviewed – farmers, planners, environmental agencies, objectors, decision makers and tourism interests. The research draws on analysis of policy and planning application documentation, meeting observations and extensive fieldwork. I have been particularly interested in how people experience the poultry units in the landscape once built. I have also explored whether there is evidence that the proliferation of units could harm the local visitor economy.


I have submitted my thesis and am preparing for viva examination. A number of academic articles based on various aspects of the research are in preparation.


 


Supervisors


Mara Miele and Chris Bear

Teaching

I taught previously at the University of Birminghm Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, leading modules on tourism, leisure and rural policy and planning as part of the Geography and Planning degree.


I was also course director for the Tourism Policy and Management Masters Programme teaching multiple modules.


At Cardiff I have contributed lectures and seminars to the Mobilities: Travel, Tourism and Communication module, over the last three years.

Thesis

Creating a stink. Controversies over intensive poultry unit developments in Herefordshire and Shropshire: contested values, knowledge and experience.

Funding source

ESRC