Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Return of Wooded Landscapes in Wales: An Exploration of Possible Post-Brexit Futures.

Version 1 : Received: 18 November 2020 / Approved: 19 November 2020 / Online: 19 November 2020 (12:24:39 CET)

How to cite: Manzoor, S.A.; Griffiths, G.; Rose, D.C.; Lukac, M. The Return of Wooded Landscapes in Wales: An Exploration of Possible Post-Brexit Futures.. Preprints 2020, 2020110510 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0510.v1). Manzoor, S.A.; Griffiths, G.; Rose, D.C.; Lukac, M. The Return of Wooded Landscapes in Wales: An Exploration of Possible Post-Brexit Futures.. Preprints 2020, 2020110510 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0510.v1).

Abstract

Changes in agricultural policy may have rapid impact even on landscapes which have taken millennia to form. Here we explore the potential of UK leaving the EU as a catalyst for profound changes in pastoral landscapes in Wales. Impending change of the trading regime governing agricultural produce, concurrent to public pressure to use agricultural subsidies for environmental goals, may lead to unforeseen consequences for Welsh natural environment. We employ a combination of change demand modelling and ‘story and simulation approach’ to predict the effect of five hypothetical scenarios on land use and land use change in Wales by 2030. We show that the most extreme trade scenario would result in a near-uniform distribution of broadleaf woodland across most of Wales. Abandonment of marginal and low productivity grazing would likely give way to afforestation, initiating a return to forested landscapes not seen in Wales for several thousands of years.

Subject Areas

Brexit; land use change; Wales; agricultural policies; forestry

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