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Sharon Flanigan

Staff picture: Sharon Flanigan
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.

I have recently returned to the The James Hutton Institute following a career break with my kids (2016-2018) and have rejoined the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences (SEGS) group as a researcher in agricultural innovation and agri-environmental approaches. In my past life, I spent 10 years working at Hutton (and formerly The Macaulay Institute) as a research assistant, PhD student, and post-doctoral researcher. I am currently working at the Institute part-time (4 days a week), based between the Aberdeen and Dundee sites.

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

  • 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.