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Book Review – Managing Upland Resources by Lois Mansfield

managing upland resources book review

Inside Ecology reviews Managing Upland Resources – New Approaches for Rural Environments by Lois Mansfield (published by Whittles Publishing, 2018)…

Upland management is both complex and divisive in its nature. The uplands are a challenging environment in which long term prosperity appears to be elusive. Lois Mansfield proposes that a resource management approach, rather than a land management approach, is required in order to ensure that uplands are productive (in terms of public goods), generate vibrant communities and are sustainably managed.

Managing Upland Resources is hefty, comprehensive, well reasoned and clearly set out. The book follows a staged approach which takes the reader through the history and complexities of upland management, the types of resources that the uplands offer (provisioning, cultural, regulating and supporting) and how this resource range can result in issues or challenges, through to setting aims and objectives for the uplands, the different methods of appraising upland resources (e.g. natural capital, human capital), approaches to resource management are discussed (traditional top-down approaches and newer bottom-up approaches), which leads on to a number of in-depth case studies, before closing with the final two chapters of the book which look at monitoring and evaluating projects, and final conclusions. The chapters are supplemented throughout by text boxes, which provide additional detail and clarity to discussions.

The book provides an overview of biodiversity in relation to the uplands, and discusses the tensions that can arise between nature conservation objectives and conflicting land management objectives, such as agriculture and game management. 

Mansfield’s journey through upland resource management, brings the often overlooked facets to the forefront. Urging equal recognition of the intangible and more subtle resources, alongside the tangible; emphasising the need for bottom-up, transdisciplinary approaches to management.

“Uplands present opportunities, not problems. How we support these opportunities is the nub of the challenge.” Lois Mansfield.

About the Author: Lois Mansfield is Principal Lecturer, Department of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies at the University of Cumbria, UK.

Book review written by Kate Priestman (CEnv, MCIEEM), Co-Founder of Inside Ecology.