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vibrant communities

Funding boost for biodiversity restoration in the River Dee (News)

Two projects aimed at restoring biodiversity in the River Dee catchment will receive more than £350,000 from a new competitive national fund from Scottish Natural Heritage. The Aberdeenshire projects were selected alongside ... Read more

Aberdeen named European Forest City 2019 (News)

In urbanised European societies, the role of forests in providing commodities, welfare, health and other social benefits is easily forgotten. But not in Aberdeen: the Granite City has been awarded the title of European Forest City ... Read more

Celebrating the North East's 2019 Young Wildlife Champions (News)

An eight-year-old campaigner, a social media whizz kid, a budding nature detective and several keen camera trappers have all been recognised as 2019 Young Wildlife Champions by the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership, in ... Read more

Post-Brexit immigration proposals may have considerable impact on Scotland, expert panel finds (News)

A report published by the Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population has shown that post-Brexit migration policy proposals put forward by the UK Government are likely to increase the demographic challenges faced by Scotland ... Read more

UnderStory - Storying woodland use, management and expansion in the Cairngorms (Project)

A digital story map will be created called the UnderStory and will provide an engaging, enduring account of perspectives on woodland use, management and expansion in the early 21st Century from the Cairngorms.It will be created ou ... Read more

Our work in the media: barley and social science (News)

The science of the James Hutton Institute continues to attract the interest of the media. This time, Professor Derek Stewart and Dr Andrew Copus were featured in recent BBC programmes, in which they discussed research on the nutri ... Read more

James Hutton Group awarded £22.8m for agriculture, food and environment research (News)

Scotland will remain at the forefront of ground-breaking advances in farming and food production as a result of continued Scottish Government funding for scientific research, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has said. Mo ... Read more

Prospects for North East Scotland’s land-based industries outlined in report (News)

Is the land-based sector in North East Scotland resilient enough to face future challenges? This question, along with many others, is at the centre of a report commissioned by the North East Scotland Agricultural Advisory Group (N ... Read more

UK increasingly 'outsourcing' environmental impacts of its food supply (News)

A new study from researchers at the James Hutton Institute, the University of Aberdeen, the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health and the Alpen-Adria University in Vienna shows that the UK’s food self-sufficiency has decr ... Read more

SEGS research notes and reports (Research Page)

Researchers in SEGS have created a series of short research notes to communicate the findings of some of our recent research projects.  Please click on the titles below to view research notes and reports. ... Read more

European sociologists meet in Aberdeen to discuss rural challenges (News)

How can people in rural areas thrive during times of rapid, transformational change? How can rural Europe cope with the many pressures arising from globalisation, migration, deregulation and the effects of neoliberal policies? Ove ... Read more

Global Research Alliance Modelling Platform unveiled on World Environment Day (News)

A free, open source modelling platform that seeks to become a vibrant network of agricultural greenhouse gas researchers, model developers and students has been launched on World Environment 2015. ... Read more

Workshops (Research Page)

Scotland’s peat bogs - rural community perceptions on Lewis (PDF File: 5,798KB) ... Read more

RURALREIN (Project)

Reindeer herding and commodification of the outfields in Southern Sami areas- Challenges to established rights and practices (RURALREIN) ... Read more

Food security group wins major funding for world-leading food and land research (News)

The Scottish Food Security Alliance-Crops (SFSA-C), a collaborative venture between the University of Aberdeen, the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee, has been awarded prestigious funding to research the global l ... Read more

Value of community projects discussed at energy conference (News)

The value of community-owned renewables to local economies was the focus of a presentation made by Professor Deb Roberts from the James Hutton Institute at Community Energy Scotland’s 2014 conference, which was opened by Fer ... Read more

Green Health Project Scientific Publications (Project)

Publications and Knowledge Exchange Project outputs include a number of papers in scientific journals, conferences, and events for stakeholders. Examples of such outputs follow: ... Read more

Best Soil in Show 2014 winner shares recipe for success (News)

After winning Best Soil in Show 2014 in June, 16-year-old Douglas Greig came to the James Hutton Institute to share some of the secrets behind his great success with farm manager Euan Caldwell. He hopes this will help other young ... Read more

Whisky research from land to bottle at Royal Highland Show (News)

The future of Scotland’s national drink is being boosted by scientists at the James Hutton Institute. Their work across many fronts aims to ensure the sustainability and continued success of Scotch whisky, one of the world&r ... Read more

Vibrant Rural Communities workshop (Research Page)

A workshop was held at Birnam Arts and Conference Centre on 20 November 2013 to provide an update on research being conducted as part of the Vibrant Rural Communities theme of the Food, Land and People Strategic Research programme ... Read more

HUNTing for Sustainability (Project)

Project aim The overall goal of the project ‘Hunting for Sustainability’ was to assess the social, cultural, economic and ecological functions and impacts of hunting across a broad range of contexts in Europe and Afr ... Read more

Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century (Project)

The overall aim of the project was to align upland estate management in Scotland with the concept of sustainability. Funding was provided by the Henry Angest Foundation and it ran from 2007-2011.     Project Object ... Read more

Technology to support Older adults – Personal and Social interaction (TOPS) (Project)

The aim of this project was to develop technology to maximise personal and social interaction between older adults with chronic pain and their health and social care providers. Funding was provided by the Research Councils ... Read more

The contribution of green and open spaces in public health (Project)

Project aim The aim of this project was to explore the relationship between green space and human health using a range of methods and disciplinary approaches at different scales. It was funded by the Scottish Government and ran ... Read more

Towards European Societal Sustainability (TESS) (Project)

The aim of TESS is to investigate the role of community-based transition initiatives in fostering a more low-carbon and sustainable Europe. TESS is a European Union project funded under the Seventh Framework Pr ... Read more

OrkCEmP - Orkney Community Empowerment Project (Project)

Project aim Orkney Community Empowerment Project (OrkCEmP) is part of the RESAS Theme 8 (Work Package 8.2) work on 'Governance and Decision-making for community empowerment in rural communities', running from 2011-2 ... Read more

Foodscapes (Project)

Project aim Foodscapes aims to explore how arts intervention and cultural engagement can help address social and economic exclusion, food poverty, and sustainability. It has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Counci ... Read more

Exploring the landscapes of governance for rural community empowerment in Aberdeenshire (Project)

Despite the emerging emphasis on the roles that (local) communities can play in public service reform and attempts to ‘empower’ communities (or allow them to ‘empower themselves’) in rural areas, the tensio ... Read more

Gender, green space and wellbeing (Project)

Project aim  This project aims to understand the relationship between gender, wellbeing and greenspace. It is funded through the Scottish Government and runs from 2011 until 2016. It is part of the RESAS Theme 8 WP8.3 work ... Read more

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Research Assistant
rachel.creaney@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

I am a research assistant with a background in social sciences and human geography. I obtained a joint undergraduate degree (MA Hons) in Anthropology and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen in 2011, and an MSc in Sustainable Rural Development, again from the University of Aberdeen, in 2013. I have a keen interest in travelling, taking time out before each degree to explore and work in different parts of the world.

Current research interests

I am currently providing assistance on PRO AKIS. PRO AKIS is an EU-funded research project which is investigating agricultural advisory services within the EU. I have also worked on the Farm Path project which aimed to identify and assess future transition pathways towards regional sustainability of agriculture in Europe. My work also reflects my interest in rural tourism and agritourism. Other areas of interest which I hope to develop further in the future are the sustainability of crofting and remote communities more generally, and the use of renewable energy within rural communities.

I have experience in qualitative methods, namely; interviews, documentary analysis, ethnographic work and participant observation, and use of NVivo. I also have some experience with quantitative methods such as survey work.

I have presented work at a series of seminars and conferences including a seminar on the sustainability of tourism on Eigg for SAMS (Scottish Association for Marine Science), the IFSA conference in Berlin and RGS-IBG in London in 2014. I have also presented work such as case study results at a number of PRO AKIS seminars.

I am a part of the local organising committee for the upcoming ESRS conference to be held in Aberdeen in August 2015 and a contributor to the SEGS blog.

 

Past research

As part of my MSc I was involved in a group research project on ecotourism in Kasanka National Park in Zambia. Other research included looking at the sustainability of crofting for remote communities in Scotland and the importance of traditional knowledge in environmental auditing. My MSc dissertation looked at the role of tourism as an aid to the sustainability for the residents of the Isle of Eigg (Scotland).

Bibliography

The LandscapePartners Project (Project)

This research project aimed to identify, analyse and assess the contribution of multi-stakeholder partnerships to the sustainable management of rural landscapes and to the well-being of communities in three European countries. In ... Read more

URflood: Outputs (Research Page)

Main outputs from the project: ... Read more

Community-based Management of Environmental challenges in Latin America (Research Page)

COMET-LA was a project coordinated by the University of Cordoba and funded under the European Commission Framework Programme 7. The acronym stands for “COmmunity-based Management of EnvironmenTal challenges in Latin America& ... Read more

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Researcher in Agri-Environmental Approaches
sharon.flanigan@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395301

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

I am a qualitative social scientist with a background in rural topics, primarily focussing on aspects of agriculture, tourism, and networking in rural areas. I completed my PhD ‘Developing and applying a framework for agritourism’ at The Macaulay Institute and University of Aberdeen in 2011.

Current research interests

Demonstration activities on commercial farms

Investigation of on-farm demonstration activities through case studies across Europe to look at governance, motivations, practices and application of lessons learned at individual and community levels. This research is being undertaken as part of EU H2020 PLAID (Peer-to-peer Learning: Accessing Innovation through Demonstration) (2017-2019) and RESAS agricultural systems and land management theme (2016-2021).

New entrants to farming

Developing a network to support new entrants to agriculture and identification and dissemination of new business and entry models and innovation in the sector. This work is being conducted under EU H2020 Newbie (New Entrant network: Business models for Innovation, entrepreneurship and resilience in European agriculture) (2018-2021).

Landscape-scale agri-environmental approaches

Investigation of agri-environmental approaches from a social perspective to explore how they may be applied to achieve multiple benefits and protect natural assets. This work is being conducted as part of RESAS integrated and sustainable management of natural assets theme (2016-2021).

Past research

Collaboration in machinery rings

This project explored machinery rings as a form of agricultural cooperative, which have emerged and evolved into large collaborative institutions since they were introduced in Scotland in the late 1980s. This formed part of a wider investigation of transitions in agriculture being undertaken in the EU FP7 FarmPath (Farming Transitions: Pathways towards regional sustainability of agriculture in Europe) project (2011-2014) and RESAS Environmental Change: Land Use research theme (2011-2016).

Developing social capital and reciprocity in agritourism communities

This project explored various aspects of social capital development and capital conversion towards understanding the role of social learning groups in supporting small businesses and the people behind them. This formed part of the RESAS Environmental Change: Economic Adaptation research theme (2011-2016).

Developing and applying a framework for agritourism

My PhD project first sought to enhance conceptual understanding of agritourism through development of a theoretical typology, which I then applied in Scotland to explore what drives different types of agritourism and how that can help to understand the public and private benefits generated. This project was funded by The Macaulay Development Trust (2008-2011).

Exploring economic and legislative aspects of deer management

This project included investigation of collaborative practices, venison production, and legislation to better understand the drivers and barriers affecting deer management in the UK. This research was undertaken as part of the RELU Collaborative frameworks in land management project (2006-2009).

Bibliography

  • Kuhfuss, L.; Piras, S.; Flanigan, S.; Hawes, C.; Begg, G. (2019) Pro-environmental practices among farmers at a landscape scale: why and how? An interdisciplinary review of the literature., Report for RESAS (143b, deliverable D6), Interdisciplinary Review of Existing Landscape Scale Interventions Delivering multiple Benefits, 37pp.
  • Flanigan, S.; Matthews, K.B. (2013) Planning to succeed agritourism (2011-2014). Mid-programme evaluation., Report to Scottish Enterprise, June 2013.
  • Matthews, K.B.; Artz, R.R.E.; Birch, A.N.E.; Blackstock, K.L.; Brooker, R.; Brown, I.; Cummins, R.; Flanigan, S.; Hallet, P.; Irvine, R.J.; Kenyon, W.; Pakeman, R.J., Prager, K.; Slee, B.; Squire, G.; Stutter, M.; Sutherland, L.; Thomson, K.; Towers, W.; Vinten, A.J.A. (2012) Developing agri-environmental measures for the next Scottish Rural Development Programme: a summary of relevant research findings from the James Hutton Institute., Report to the Scottish Government, Natural Resources Division, SRDP Technical Working Group (Agri-Environment), 11pp, 25 June 2012.
  • Flanigan, S.; Holstead, K.L. (2012) Results of focus group discussions to explore members' perceptions of machinery rings in relation to change, collaboration and sustainability., Report to Borders Machinery Ring (BMR): Summary of findings for machinery ring stakeholders.
  • Flanigan, S.; Holstead, K.L. (2012) Results of focus group discussions to explore members' perceptions of machinery rings in relation to change, collaboration and sustainability, Report to Ringlink: Summary of findings for machinery ring stakeholders.
  • Flanigan, S. (2012) Planning to succeed agritourism: Participants circumstances and expectations in year 1., Report to Scottish Enterprise, The Collection Limited and Planning to Succeed Group.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.