Apply by 8 February to University of Swansea

Study for a PhD on beauty in Wales

Swansea University and the Economic & Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Wales Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) are offering a fully-funded PhD studentship in collaboration with NAAONBs and CPRW.

As part of a wider re-evaluation of Wales’s landscapes in relation to sustainability, economy, and identity, the devolved Welsh Government has commissioned an independent panel to reconsider Designated Landscapes. Proposals include reclassifying Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) as National Landscapes of Wales – retaining a distinction from National Parks whilst securing an integrated approach, including a unified approach to National Parks. Wales has the highest percentage of land-area covered by protective legislation of any UK nation, heightening the consequences of the post-devolution framing of landscape in relation to development and cultural integrity. The project examines contestations of proposed landscape-governance changes and the practical consequences of specific changes.

Research questions focus on the translation of new approaches into practice. In partnership with key stakeholders, the National Association for AONBs (NAAONBs) and Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW), the project addresses (1) how a degree of convergence in the status of designated landscapes will operate in relation to policy and decision-making powers; (2) how objections from vested interests might manifest themselves (the MP for Gower, the UK’s first AONB, is spearheading a protest against re-designation, despite the move enjoying support from the Gower Society conservation interest group) and how resistance might be overcome in the wake of legislative change; (3) how UK-wide umbrella groups might adjust to re designation.

Find out more about the project details.

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