Training on Methods, Tools and Approaches for
Sustainable Rural Development
SOCRATES Intensive Course, Scottish Highlands, August 2005



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Based on results of CARBOMONT a series of SOCRATES intensive courses are being carried out in the Alps, the Spanish Pyrenees and the Scottish Highlands. They interrelate different fields of knowledge important for concepts of sustainable mountain development.
The next course will be carried out in the Scottish Highlands and will provide a training on environmental monitoring and decision making modelling. The course will combine field excursions and lectures concerned with the monitoring of various environmental parameters, and the use of data in decision models such as the Limits of Acceptable Change system and Requisite Decision Modelling. On the last day a practical decision conferencing workshop will be organised, where a concept of key indicators of environmental change will be developed for the Cairngorm Mountains. The setting of quality standards by concensus will be elaborated at scales from catchment to national level. The teaching programme will be provided by the Centre for Hydrology and Ecology (CEH) Banchory.


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The theme of environmental monitoring will be developed by a series of field visits in the Scottish Highlands demonstrating different management strategies.

A field visit to Glen Garry will provide the basis for studying environmental monitoring for a woodland restoration scheme in a heavily grazed area.

A field visit to the Cairngorms ECN site will show the environmental monitoring scheme for a conservation area with reduced browsing by red deer.

A field visit to the Cairn Gorm Mountain Recreation area will illustrate the environmental monitoring scheme for a skiing area in the Scottish Highlands.

Project area Glen GarryCaringrom ECN siteCairn Gorm skiiing area


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Based on field visits a series of lectures on different schemes of environmental monitoring will be we given by the staff of the CEH at the Research Station in Banchory.

Regional and local scale monitoring: Environmental Change Network (ECN) monitoring; Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) monitoring; Scottish Farm Woodlands Scheme monitoring.

Large scale monitoring: Environmentally Sensitive Areas Programme; CS 2000 national Countryside monitoring; Demonstration of Countryside Information System software.


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Participants will work in groups to identify and prioritise different types of environmental indicators.

Group session 1: Selecting a preferred site for an alpine slide.

Group session 2: Identification of key environmental indicators for forestry in the Cairngorms and identification of quality standards.

Applied modelling tools:
Visitor Survey on Cairngorm


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The teaching staff will consist of experts from the CEH Banchory conducted by Neil Bayfield and Alexander Cernusca