Guiding carbon farming using interdisciplinary mixed methods mapping

Dr Alison L Browne1, Beth.F.T. Brockett2

1University Of Manchester, United Kingdom

2Natural England/Lancaster Environment Centre, United Kingdom


Drawing on our new paper in People and Nature, this presentation explores opportunities for increasing and maintaining soil carbon stocks through carbon farming in extensively managed grasslands, which form the backbone of livestock farming in upland regions of the United Kingdom. Extensively managed grasslands represent a major soil carbon pool that is both sensitive to long term management and important for climate change mitigation (Smith 2014; Ward et al. 2016). We demonstrate an empirical application of interdisciplinary ecological research, through a mixed methods mapping approach, which includes quantitative soil carbon modelling, ethnographic methods and place-based interviewing. We follow in the footsteps of Riley (2008) in considering the production and politics of knowledge within agri-environment systems; of critical physical geographers (Lave et al. 2014), who offer new methods for “redistributing expertise between science and affected publics in relation to environmental problems” (Landström et al. 2011, 1617); and the work of feminist and critical cartographers. We seek to demonstrate how interdisciplinary mapping of soil carbon processes can be deployed to reveal different versions of the farm including embodied and scientific senses of soil carbon, and knowing such can improve the communication of information between different stakeholders, and inform agri-environmental policy design.


Dr Alison Browne (Lecturer, Geography, University of Manchester) is an inter/transdisciplinary geographer working on water/energy/food/carbon/plastic in the UK/EU, China, India. She completed UG/PhD at Curtin University; and has been a Research Fellow at CSIRO, Curtin University, Lancaster University.

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