Habitat monitoring in the wider countryside: a case study on the pursuit of innovation in red deer management

Georgina Maffey, Mark Reed, R. Justin Irvine, Rene Van Der Wal

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9 Citations (Scopus)
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Policy frameworks for protected areas, such as the EU habitats directive, ensure that environmental monitoring takes place to assess the condition of these sites. However, this monitoring rarely extends to the wider countryside, and there is no obligation for private landowners to detect trends in habitat condition. Using the diffusion of innovations model as an analytical framework we conducted a series of semi-structured interviews to consider the uptake of habitat impact assessment methods throughout a community involved in private land use pursuits in Scotland. It was found that although the community as a whole recognises the benefits of habitat impact assessments there are a number of barriers to their uptake, including the complexity of data gathering and interpretation, and uncertainty around who should be responsible for the conduct of assessments. Analysing the uptake of an innovation at an early stage, rather than retrospectively as is commonly done, highlights the potential for non-adoption and could therefore inform the reinvention of the innovation. In this instance reinvention could lead to more appropriate monitoring methods, which, if taken up, could reduce the need for legislative intervention in situations where both public and private interests need to be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-786
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date13 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2013


  • diffusion of innovations
  • red deer management
  • private land
  • habitat monitoring
  • wildlife management


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