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Field expertise in rural land management


  • Amy Proctor
  • Andrew Donaldson
  • Jeremy Phillipson
  • Philip Lowe


This paper explores the expertise of field-level advisors in rural land management. The context is the English uplands and negotiation over a Higher Level Stewardship agreement. An observed encounter between a hill farmer, his retained land agent, and an ecologist working for Natural England illustrates the multiple roles that field-level advisors have in regulating, directing, and influencing contemporary land management. The paper draws on field notes taken during work shadowing and in-depth interviews, to reflect upon the relationships that constitute field expertisenot only between farmer and advisor, but amongst the advisors too (and those who advise them). We argue that expert–expert interaction and the emergence of networks of practice are crucial to the development of field expertise and are key factors in the increasing complexity of the decision making underpinning contemporary land management. Keywords: field expertise, farm extension, rural land management, expert–expert interaction, networks of practice

Suggested Citation

  • Amy Proctor & Andrew Donaldson & Jeremy Phillipson & Philip Lowe, 2012. "Field expertise in rural land management," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(7), pages 1696-1711, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:7:p:1696-1711

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    Cited by:

    1. Aguilar-Gallegos, Norman & Muñoz-Rodríguez, Manrrubio & Santoyo-Cortés, Horacio & Aguilar-Ávila, Jorge & Klerkx, Laurens, 2015. "Information networks that generate economic value: A study on clusters of adopters of new or improved technologies and practices among oil palm growers in Mexico," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 122-132.

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