What do we want from Long-Term Ecology?

The University of Derby is currently evaluating the potential of its land in Buxton for long-term ecological experiments – extending and enhancing existing research. In this presentation we will introduce the field site and explain how an idea was developed into a proposal which appealed to a broad base of people with different motivations. From nature connectedness of individuals to corporate responsibility of institutions and the agreements of nations – we can find many reasons to support long-term ecology.
The field site at University of Derby Oaklands Campus is situated on a South-facing moorland slope from 370 m to 445 m above sea level and comprising approximately 20 ha. The land is divided up for different uses including education, camping and grazing. There is semi-natural moorland and a wood in addition to the fields maintained for camping, however most of the land is regarded as being in a degraded state. Proposals have been developed for restoration and improvement which can lead to a wide range of identifiable benefits including enhancing biodiversity, water quality, and amenity value. We plan to take this opportunity to establish Oaklands as a long-term ecological monitoring site, whereby the restoration activities would be appropriately controlled and measured in a variety of ways. Due to proximity of the site to university facilities, the site will also be convenient for testing new approaches to ecological monitoring before deploying in more remote locations.
The viability of this project will depend largely upon the support and enthusiasm of people who are interested in the site, whatever their motivation. We would like to invite delegates of this meeting and the wider communities represented to share in making it a success.