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Community Wildlife Sites in Oxfordshire: New Ecological and Social Meanings

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Lawrence, Anna; Molteno, Star; Butterworth, Tom
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/789
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
New Commons
Region: Europe
Subject(s): community participation
protected areas
Abstract: "Our paper explores the social and cultural relations underlying community wildlife sites, a new type of commons emerging in England which appear to symbolise peoples need to connect with place and nature. England benefits from a long history of nature protection, informed by scientific criteria for site designation, and it might be questioned whether these community wildlife sites will make any significant contribution to the conservation of biodiversity. Nevertheless, their numbers have multiplied over the last decade and we take six in Oxfordshire as the basis for comparative case studies to explore leadership, participation, social organisation, personal experiences, perceived benefits and change. We take an actor-oriented approach in exploring the motivations, experiences and changing perceptions or behaviour of those involved, based on action research theory that proposes that human organisation and behaviour changes through experience, and especially through reflexive experience. Ultimately, we ask, how is the meaning of these sites affected by their sharedness."

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