Participation, practitioners and power: community participation in North-East community forests
Macpherson, H.M. (2004) Participation, practitioners and power: community participation in North-East community forests ODPM, working paper series.
Official URL: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/corporate/...
This research focuses on the nature and extent of community participation occurring in the North East Community Forests (NECF). The aims of the research were to firstly; review the current academic debate on community participation in landscape planning and management, secondly; reveal the current state of community participation within the NECF at both a strategic and local level and thirdly; consider the range of possible factors which determine the nature and extent of this community participation. This was achieved through a literature review, policy document analysis and in-depth interviews with individual NECF practitioners. Particular consideration was given to how individual practitioners might affect participatory processes. Research findings reveal participation practices within the NECF tend to focus on ‘creating and enjoying’ not ‘planning and managing’. This local, rather than strategic approach to participation was found to be more compatible with the 90 % private land ownership that the NECF has to work with. The study concludes, that research which focuses on practitioners as forming the major barrier to enhancing community participation is unjustified in the case of the NECF. To enhance participation practice the multiple social, economic and material factors which converge to determine participatory processes within the NECF must be addressed.
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