While the UK is about eight times larger in area than Vermont, it has a human population of over one hundred times greater. Many Americans view the UK as a ‘crowded island’, and can imagine little room for green space. Is it possible for wild nature to thrive in a land with so many people? This course will delve into this question, examining evidence for and against this possibility. It will first attempt to define the ‘problem’ that human pressure poses to nature conservation in the UK, and will then explore multiple approaches to conservation, conducted by multiple types of agencies and individuals. Through lectures, field-trips, meetings with practitioners, and a local service project, students will develop an understanding of approaches towards conserving and preserving nature on this crowded island.
Students in this course will co-enroll in NS270A Natural History of Great Britain.
To become aware of the threats to nature in the UK and the need for nature conservation;
To understand the nature of semi-natural landscapes and the importance of the working landscape for their maintenance;
To be introduced to the contribution and approach of different organizations towards nature conservation in the UK including the EU, the UK parliament, local government, quangos, NGOs, private landowners and the interested citizen;
To become familiar with the concept, and examples, of agri-environment schemes;
To explore species-based vs. habitat-based approaches to conservation and the practice of evidence-based conservation, habitat restoration, and re-wilding;
To explore relationships between field-sports, hunting and conservation in the UK
To understand the importance of green-belts and planning regulations for nature conservation