High Weald

Why we research

The High Weald Management Plan
The advice we give and the policy within the High Weald AONB Management Plan are both supported by evidence.Detailed research forms the foundation of the Plan, as it evolves and is reviewed, new research and evidence is required to help develop it.In fact the whole research project is aimed at supporting the features and policies of the Plan.

Research enables the High Weald Unit to develop its Project staff roles.Many staff use research during the course of their job, particularly advisors. So it's important that the whole team is aware of new developments in any relevant subject area.

How we research

We want to make sure all the work we carry out is fit for purpose, so we involve many different people in new research. This means that how we research varies between projects.Below are a few examples of the different ways in which we might undertake research projects.

We carry out research internally; this could be map-based research using GIS, or gathering and summarising existing research, which may help us to quickly fill a gap in our knowledge. For example, the Historic Field Boundaries research.

With partners
We get together with key partners who may have similar needs to us and carry out research together. For example, the Historic Farmstead Character research.

With specialists
We commission customised research by experts (often academic researchers or specialist consultants) to help us answer a very specific question. These questions will be directly linked to a gap in our knowledge.For example, the Wind Energy Assessment research.

With volunteers
We work with volunteers and researchers who often have in-depth knowledge about their local landscape.For example, the Routeways research allows people to contribute their own knowledge, by completing locally led routeway surveys to support the wider understanding of routeways across the whole of the High Weald AONB.

Relevant research

As part of our research, we watch and review advances in national and local policy.This helps us to:

  • ensure our research remains current and fits into the 'bigger picture' - changes in policy could influence the direction our research takes.
  • share our research with others and make certain we engage with appropriate organisations.
  • ensure our research is compatible with, and supports the aims and objectives of our local partners.We report regularly to our partners about all of the work we undertake.