Testing Interventions

The Endangered Landscapes Programme seeks to facilitate a process in which knowledge and experience from projects helps build capacity and drive improvements in the practice of landscape restoration.

Given the constraints on land and funding available for conservation, it is vital that restoration projects employ the most effective interventions to achieve the greatest impact. In addition, funders and the public need assurance that conservation techniques really are successful. It is equally important to know when actions do not work as desired, so that mistakes are not unnecessarily repeated, wasting precious time and resources. However, many interventions, including some that are widely applied, have not been thoroughly assessed in terms of what they actually deliver. Well-designed and conducted experimental tests of interventions can greatly help decision-making in restoration, by identifying which types of conservation intervention are likely to produce the best future outcomes for biodiversity and ecosystems.

Therefore, Implementation Projects funded by the ELP each include at least one experimental component that will generate new evidence of how to effectively restore species, habitats or processes. The projects provide an opportunity to cost-effectively ‘learn while doing’, by testing one or more of the actions that they are undertaking. The resultant knowledge will be shared with the wider restoration community.

Questions about how to effectively restore landscapes that are being experimentally tested by Implementation Projects in the ELP include:

  • What is the effect of introducing natural grazing on invertebrate and plant communities, and the fire resilience of the habitat?
    Greater Côa Valley, Portugal
  • For how long after planting do Cystoseira spp. (brown algae) need to be caged, to prevent grazing by herbivorous fish and allow the plants to establish?
    Gökova Bay to Cape Gelidonya, Turkey
  • What impact does the introduction of bison have on natural mountain forest vegetation?
    Carpathian Mountains, Romania
  • Which of two different types of communication campaign is most effective at changing people’s environmental attitudes and behaviours?
    Carpathian Mountains, Romania
  • What is the response of invertebrates, particularly beetles that depend on deadwood, to three different methods of killing trees?
    Cairngorms Connect, Scotland
  • Does translocation of seedlings between isolated populations of mountain willows increase genetic diversity, resulting in increased seed set?
    Cairngorms Connect, Scotland
2 year growth on willow cutting in tree nursery, Sept 2019