The Climate Change Committee (CCC) commissioned the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology to identify and characterise a set of baseline archetypes that are representative of current rural land-use and land-management in England and each of the devolved administrations. This work represents the first part of the CCC’s wider project on Archetypes for transforming rural UK land-use to high-carbon, climate resilient, nature rich and economically productive systems.
2. Key messages
- A total of 12 archetypes representative of current rural land-use and land-management in England and the devolved administrations were shortlisted for this project. The archetypes are intended to represent key differences across a range of parameters, including geography, farming system (land use and land management) and spatial-scale.
- Archetypes were selected on the basis of having a distinct land use and management combination, cover a substantial area of the UK, with options for changing land use and management in the future for the benefit of climate mitigation and resilience and the delivery of other benefits (e.g. biodiversity). For this reason, archetypes dominated by existing woodland were excluded from the short list due to limited scope for change under the UK forestry standard.
- The 12 archetypes cover around 46% of the land area of the UK. Agricultural and land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) emissions have been estimated for each archetype. Archetypes containing organic soils were found to have the highest per hectare land use emissions, while archetypes with grazing livestock had the highest agricultural emissions on a per hectare basis.
- The second part of the project will quantify the impact of transitioning each of the 12 archetypes identified under Part one. The transitions will focus on changes in land use and management that can deliver increased carbon sequestration and emissions reductions, and which can also contribute to climate resilience, maintenance of food production, increased biodiversity and deliver other co-benefits. We will be issuing a tender for this work later this year.