The New Forest - Research Link
Research initiative will benefit New Forest
Photograph: Maldwin Drummond (left) with Professor Mike Clark and the Vice-Chancellor.
A new research link between the University and the New Forest will provide valuable information on all aspects of the management and conservation of the Forest.
Welcoming the new initiative at a ceremony earlier this month, Maldwin Drummond, Chair of the New Forest Committee, said that the University played an increasingly important role in the New Forest. Historically, the relationship has tended to be one-way with students and the University using the Forest for their own purposes. But more recently research had widened and had tackled problems of wide interest and importance to the Forest, from socioeconomic work on commoners to studies on deer and ponies. Mr Drummond added that the initiative would form a new partnership with the University by
For the University, Professor Mike Clark, Director of the GeoData Institute, stressed that the new initiative was far more than pure academic research. "We see a real opportunity to produce good science - directed to real problems - which can be communicated effectively" he said.
- creating a channel through which any agency in the New Forest could tap into University expertise;
- providing a two-way link so that University researchers could contact agencies;
- building up the University's major role as `the New Forest's university'; and
- working together on relevant material to be presented to the people of the Forest, to schools in particular, and to the public generally.
"With such an outstanding natural habitat on our doorstep, it is only to be expected that the University's ecological and environmental research has often addressed practical problems of Forest management. Recent work in the University has provided information on the behaviour of the red deer population and on river flow, particularly in relation to vegetation on the slopes and debris in the channels of rivers. The University also has a long-standing commitment to research on remote sensing of heathland vegetation.
"The New Forest is such a complex ecological environment that those who are entrusted with its management and conservation need to have the best information available on how it actually functions. University biologists, geographers, hydrologists, biochemists, sociologists and scientists from many other areas can provide this important expertise", Professor Clark added.
New Reporter, University of Southampton, 29 September 1993. Vol 11 No 2.