The institute’s research aims to improve our thinking on wild land and natural processes, create a new framework for understanding and valuing natural and semi-natural environments, and seek to enhance our relationship with wild nature.

The basis of the research focuses on:

  • The nature of the intrinsic value of wild land
  • Perceptions of wild land, its cultural and ecological components
  • Identifying and valuing ecosystem goods and services from wild lands

More specific areas of research include:

  • Protected area management in the UK, its current and future goals
  • Integration of wild land into the wider landscape – new paradigms for land use and agriculture in a landscape continuum
  • Spatial strategies for large-scale rewildling
  • Delivering wild land values in multi-functional landscapes and habitat networks
  • Developing a Recreational Opportunity Spectrum for current and future landscapes
  • Fear and danger – the barriers to species reintroduction
  • The integration of wild land with open countryside and the peri-urban landscape
  • Developing and inspiring a future view of wild land in the literary and artistic milieu
  • Using visual and spatial approaches to envisioning new, wilder landscapes

Research contracts and consultancy:

  • 2014-2015 Public Participation GIS: Engaging the public in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge planning.
  • 2014 Talladh-a-Bheithe Wind Farm Proposal: Review of impacts on wild land. Report commissioned by JMT.
  • 2013-2014 Darwin Fellowship: La Primavera Biosphere Reserve, Jalisco, Mexio (Karina Aguilar).
  • 2012-2013 Developing EU Wilderness Register (with partners in Alterra, NL and PanParks).
  • 2011-2012 Developing Map-Me tool with US Forest Service for enabling public participation in landscape scale surveys.
  • 2011-2012 Technical advice on Perception Survey with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and SNH.
  • 2011 Policy advice to JMT on developing wild land policy.
  • 2010-2011 AHRC grant “Reflecting on Environmental Change through Site-based Performance.”
  • 2010 Technical advice and assistance to SNH on national level mapping of wildness in Scotland.
  • 2010 Research Joint Venture Agreement on Modelling Wilderness Character with US Forest Service and Leopold Institute Montana.
  • 2010 Mapping wildness in the southern extension of the Cairngorm National Park.
  • 2010 Mapping wildness in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
  • 2010 A review of the status and conservation of wild land in Europe for the Scottish Government.
  • 2009 A reconnaissance level survey of wild land in the UK for the John Muir Trust.
  • 2007-2008 Mapping wildness in the Cairngorms National Park.

Key outputs