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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

BLGY5131M Practical Conservation with the National Trust

10 creditsClass Size: 26

Module manager: Dr Alastair Ward

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Although academic research plays a fundamental role in UK nature conservation, the majority of management decisions are made based on data collected from assessments and surveys that are less intensive than rigorous scientific study. The National Trust, as one of the UK’s largest conservation bodies, has a wealth of experience in designing and implementing such monitoring to both maximise its use (locally and nationally) and to take into account pressures and conflicts arising from factors outside of ecology.This module contains a lecture that introduces the complexity of nature conservation in a practical setting, and a series of six full days of fieldwork on National Trust land in the Yorkshire Dales National Park to gain practical experience in one of a number of large-scale monitoring projects (eg grazing assessments of calcareous grassland on tenanted farms; habitat condition assessments; mapping pollution risk in the catchment for Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve).


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- describe the principles and practice of conservation monitoring and management within a professional conservation body;
- provide practical experience of nature conservation monitoring in a real-life context.
- formulate, and present (1) a group management plan for one or more of the sites you visited (2) individual ‘vision statements’ – long term conceptual plans for the NT Wharfedale or Malham estates.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students will be aware of the complexities and issues surrounding conservation work in a practical setting.

They will also have gained practical experience of employing conservation monitoring techniques to inform conservation management decisions in one of the UK’s largest conservation charities.

Skills outcomes
- You will gain experience in working in groups and in giving group presentations.
- You will acquire a range of conservation-related skills that include practical management tasks and survey and monitoring. - You will work with professional conservationists and farmers.


- 1 lecture (introduction to practical nature conservation monitoring and management by National Trust staff)

- 5 days of fieldwork on National Trust countryside land learning and practising a number of management/monitoring methods, whilst discussing them and the broader issues of conservation management with Trust staff. This work will normally be carried out in small teams. The work will be carried out on the Malham and Upper Wharfedale estates of the National Trust in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours57.00
Total Contact hours43.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- The majority of the module will take place during five-day intensive sessions. Feedback will therefore largely be on-the-spot assistance during fieldwork.
- The verbal presentations will be given on the last of these days and feedback given on the day.
- the written vision statements will be marked and feedback given after the field component.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportLandscape vision statement (2-3 pages)50.00
Group ProjectGroup presentation50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 05/08/2022


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