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RD 1.4.3: Practical interventions to realise multiple benefits and manage trade-offs

Image showing a landscape with Pine Trees in the foreground

Land management and land-use change has consequences for natural assets as well as the viability of land-based businesses and managing them requires cooperation and collaboration across a landscape. Adaptive Management, which iteratively uses evidence from monitoring interventions to evaluate the effectiveness of management interventions and inform the design of more effective alternatives, can support integrated land and water decision making to protect the multiple benefits derived from natural assets. This research is focused on a range of practical case studies that are representative of the major land uses in Scotland and seeks to identify and promote best practice in collective, landscape-scale Adaptive Management to help land managers deliver these benefits whilst maintaining viable land-based businesses.

The work involves researchers from the James Hutton Institute, Moredun Research Institute and Centre for Hydrology and Ecology (Edinburgh) working closely with local communities, land managers, Scottish Government agencies and environmental NGOs.

Aim of Research

The aim of this research is to evaluate the potential to manage trade-offs and deliver multiple benefits from natural assets at the landscape scale. Focussing on agri-environment and woodland expansion schemes, together with integrated catchment management, the research uses practical examples to explore trade-offs and impacts taking into account social and cultural values as well environmental considerations in relation to land use and land use change. We provide practical guidance to land managers and other stakeholders and illustrate how existing and novel policy measures can improve the management of our natural assets to support sustainable land-based industries and vibrant communities.

Our work is organised as follows:

  • Applying an adaptive management framework to facilitate the evaluation and coordination of measures to deliver multiple benefits – contact Kit MacLeod
  • Assessing the potential for agri-environmental measures to deliver multiple benefits at a landscape scale – contact Laure Kuhfuss
  • Developing approaches that reconcile woodland expansion with other land use priorities – contact Katrina Brown.
  • To use adaptive management to integrate water management options for the delivery of multiple benefits – contact Kit Macleod. This work incorporates an ongoing project in the Lunan Catchment.


Further information

General information on the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes (SEFARI) and the Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Portfolio can be found on the SEFARI website.
Within this, there are webpages providing summary overview information for each of the Research Deliverables (RDs) within the Strategic Programme. The page for RD 1.4.3 Practical interventions to realise multiple benefits and manage trade-offs is available here and includes annual progress and highlights summaries, key outputs and links to case studies and key research staff.
To complement this, a more extensive list of outputs is provided below.


Landscape image showing agricultural landscape


Project Information
Project Type: 
Active Project
SEFARI – Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research InstitutesSEFARI is the collective of six Scottish world-leading Research Institutes working across the spectrum of environment, land, food, agriculture and communities – all topics which affect how we live our lives, in Scotland and beyond.


Areas of Interest

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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.