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Annual sustainability report 2022/23


Page 6 of 9


Research focused on sustainability is carried out across a wide range of expertise areas within the University, often involving partners from different sectors as co-researchers who can help to implement solutions and drive change. This section shares a selection of the projects and publications that completed in 2022-23.

Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) projects

Landscape recovery findings for DEFRA

A study on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), explored the potential of introducing long-term agreements of at least 30 years with land managers, to give soils and habitats time to regenerate, to achieve landscape recovery in lowland productive areas.

The agreements would pay farmers to deliver environmental benefits, including restoring rivers and supporting land use change to create a greater level of habitat diversity but the study found long term agreements would have limited uptake.

New app to support research around plastic waste in soils

Researchers helped to devise a new app to enable the public to record sightings of plastic in soils and support scientists to gain better understanding of the impact of plastic residues on soil health. The app was part of the EU-funded MINAGRIS project and will enable farmers to make informed decisions around their use of plastic.

House of Lords report examines pressures and challenges around land use

Evidence from national and international research projects including PEGASUS and LANDWISE undertaken by CCRI a House of Lords report on the pressures and challenges of land use in England. The report supported a joined up approach at a time with increasing pressure for land use to tackle climate change, reverse loss of biodiversity and improve the health and wellbeing of the population.

Study increases public engagement in sustainable development

A study commissioned by Natural England, the Government’s advisor for the natural environment, provided recommendations about how environmental practitioners can better involve stakeholders, in decisions that affect them. Recommendations include:

Climathon research published by British Academy

Research led by Damian Maye and assisted by Abigail Gardner, Julie Ingram, Pippa Simmonds, and Sofia Raseta developed a participatory methodology, Climathons. The project brought farmers, rural land use stakeholders, NGOs and citizens together to debate and develop local net zero solutions to promote sustainable agrifood futures.

Infographic showing the phases and sections of the climathon research led by Damian Maye and assisted by Abigail Gardner, Julie Ingram, Pippa Simmonds and Sofia Raseta.

Wider University research

The UE4SD project which was led by the University from 2013-2016 featured as a case study by the European Expert Network on Economics of Education (EENEE) published in April 2023.

‘Learning from thirty years of experience: case studies in teacher education for sustainability’; features the best practice in Education for Sustainability (EfS) with a focus on how this can be applied by policy makers and educators at a primary and secondary school level.

Deadly Balance: predators and people in a crowded world – New book by Professor Adam Hart

By probing the latest conservation science, Adam’s new book explores how we might both conserve the world’s predators and live safely alongside them.

Ecopoetry initiative encompasses global voices

Academics in the University’s School of Creative Arts established Ecopoetikon, a new project to research and showcase ecopoetry from both the Global South and the Global North. Ecopoetry raises awareness about ecological issues, highlights the beauty of the natural world, and changes people’s perceptions in a human-centric world.

New interactive online game encourages responsible consumerism

Philippa Ward led a project supported by the ERASMUS+ Programme to help consumers be more ethically responsible. The RESPECT Project was a multi-country initiative that developed an online game for 12-14 year olds to help them make more sustainable consumption choices through engaging education.

Track changes review of the national curriculum for England

Dr Paul Vare in our School of Education co-authored a report as part of the National ‘Teach the Future’ campaign, led by the charity ‘SOS-UK’.

The report titled ‘Curriculum for a changing climate: track changes review of the national curriculum for England, reviews the curriculum for key stages 3 and 4 and suggests where and how it can be amended to include sustainability and respond to the climate and ecological crisis.

Reporting on the UN Global Goals

This report meets our annual reporting commitments on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an institutional signatory to the tertiary sector SDG Accord.

Throughout this annual report, we record how the actions and results shown in this report contribute to the delivery of the UN SDGs. The actions on this page contribute to the specific goals marked below.

For more information view the global goals page.

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